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Pumpkin Patch Soup

I love pumpkin picking.  I love the sense of a community harvest.  I love that it marks the official start of Autumn.  I love the sheer excitement of every busy pumpkin seeker and onlooker, big and small, young and old.  I love the unmistakable look of joy and accomplishment when the perfect pumpkin is found.  I love the hayrides.  I love the hot apple cider.  I love the shades of orange strewn across the patch.  But, most of all, I love pumpkin picking because it means:  pumpkin soup.

This pumpkin soup comes together in a snap and oozes of fall flavors and aromas.  Nutty, spicy, wholesome goodness that tastes like it’s been simmering away for days.  Except it’s only been 30 minutes.  One whiff and you know you’re well on your way to a cozy evening of warm and delicious nourishment – preferably in front of a roaring fire.  Slurp away.

Not a bad way to end a day of harvesting at the pumpkin patch.

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PUMPKIN PATCH SOUP
Tweaked from Bon Appétit, yields 8 servings

Look for the cute, smaller “sugar” pumpkins for cooking and save the big momma ones for your jack-o’-lanterns.

Music Pairing: Perfect, Smashing Pumpkins (love, love, love this song)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • large pinch of cayenne
  • large pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 6 cups pumpkin, seeded, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • splash of milk

Method

Melt butter over medium-high heat in a 4-6 quart dutch oven.  Add carrot, potato, onion, garlic, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, 4-5 minutes.  Add pumpkin, spices, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.  Stir in broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, 30 to 40 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

Working in small batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Be careful to keep the lid tightly fitted!  Return soup to pot.  Stir in maple syrup, brown sugar and milk.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Just before serving, return soup to pot and reheat over low heat. Ladle soup into bowls and top each with a dollop of sour cream and splash of tobasco (optional).

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