Pumpkin Soup in a Pumpkin Tureen is the essence of comfort food to me. Serve it to family or close friends straight from the tureen with country bread and butter on a cold Sunday by the fire place and you will create a memory. Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to enjoy this rustic but heart warming pumpkin soup.
1 big onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs canola oil
2 tsp Spanish paprika
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 Tbs tomato paste
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cooking cream
1 tsp cognac or French brandy
salt to taste
Prep the pumpkin: Buy the prettiest pumpkin you can find. Wash it and carefully cut the top off and reserve. Remove the seeds and reserve for roasting, they make a delicious snack. Using a spoon or an ice cream scooper, take out the flesh of the pumpkin leaving about half an inch of it. You will later use the pumpkin as a tureen.
Make the soup: In a large pot, combine the butter and oil and sauté the onions on medium heat until transparent, about 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and cook for 5 more minutes, making sure it doesn’t brown. Add the tomato paste, the garlic, the salt and white pepper and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the paprika and mix well. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low fire for about 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked trough. Using an immersion blender, cream the soup. If at that point you don’t have enough liquid, you can adjust the thickness by adding some more hot chicken stock. If on the other hand you have too much broth, simply remove the lid and cook it for a few more minutes until you reach the desired thickness.
Twenty minutes before serving, preheat the oven to 175C/350F. Bring the soup to a gentle simmer and turn off the fire. Stir in the cooking cream and adjust the seasoning.
Place the pumpkin shell on a baking sheet and pour the soup into the shell. Stir in the cognac and transfer to the oven for about 15 minutes or until the pumpkin has warmed up.
Serve: Bring the pumpkin tureen to the table and serve directly from it. Top each bowl with a sprig of fresh thyme, a drizzle of tabasco sauce and serve with crusty bread and butter.