Halloween Pumpkin-Sage Soup
3 TBS unsalted butter
6 Sage leaves, slightly crushed
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 2 medium onions)
2 pounds fresh pumpkin chunks (canned pumpkin can be used, but not pumpkin puree)
2 cups fresh or canned chicken broth
1 cup Water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup milk
1 cup half and a half or heavy cream
¼ tsp grated fresh nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cayenne
Heat the butter in a pot and add the crushed sage leaves and onion. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for one minute. Add the pumpkin chunks, chicken broth, water, salt, and pepper.
Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 20 mins. Transfer to the bowl of an electric blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return the mixture to the pot.
Add the milk and half and half (or cream), nutmeg, cayenne, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well and simmer for five to 10 minutes.
Taste for seasoning. Serves six to eight.
(Stew Leonards recipe)
To prepare the pumpkin shell soup tureen-
Wash the outside of the pumpkin with warm water and and pat it dry. Using a sharp knife, insert the tip and cut away a round section from the top of the pumpkin to form a lid. Scoop out the seeds and stringy membrane with a large spoon.
Spray the pumpkin inside and out with non-stick cooking spray. Lightly sprinkle the inside with salt. Spray a heavy baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray also. Place the pumpkin on the baking sheet. Place the lid aside of the pumpkin, cut side down.
Bake in a preheated oven at 325° for 1 hour or slightly longer, depending on the size of the pumpkin. Bake until the inside of the pumpkin shell just begins to soften. The shell will be a deep orange color and have a shine from the cooking spray. Do not over bake. An over baked shell will not support the weight of the soup. Remove from the oven. Very gently scoop out any remaining stringy areas you might have missed. Check the bottom of the the lid as well