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Spicy Fall Pumpkin Soup

1 stick unsalted fresh butter
6 cups fresh yellow onions, finely chopped
3 15-ounce cans solid pack pumpkin or homemade (See cooking hint below)
1 cup fresh whole milk
1 cup fresh half and half
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
8 cups canned low-salt chicken broth or fresh homemade chicken broth
plain salt or Iodized salt
peppercorns, freshly ground

Cream Topping for Soup:
1/2 cup fresh sour cream
1/2 cup fresh whipping cream
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup shelled green pumpkin seeds, toasted*

Whisk the 3 cream topping ingredients in small bowl. Cover and chill 2 hours before serving.

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until clear, about 15 minutes. Mix in the pumpkin, milk, half and half, and the crushed red pepper. Working in batches, puree the mixture in a food processor. Return back to the pot. Add the chicken broth. Simmer the mixture 15 minutes to blend all the flavors. Stir occasionally. Do not burn. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle soup into waiting bowls. Spoon cream topping onto soup. Sprinkle with the toasted pumpkin seeds. The pumpkin seeds adds a nice seasonal touch to this smooth, creamy soup.

Serve with pumpkin dinner rolls for a real fall treat. This delicious soup is perfect for your fall dinner party or family Thanksgiving Day dinner.

Cooking Hint: In some areas, pumpkins do not grow well. Trying using fresh butternut squash, roasted, in place of the pumpkin. Works very well. Enjoy...!

*These are available in a organic food shop or at local Mexican or Hispanic markets. Check the speciality section in your supermarket too.

Serves 12

from the kitchen of Steph