French Heirloom Pumpkin Soup
(Adapted from The (ex)Expatriate’s Kitchen)
1 5-6 lb. pumpkin (Galeux D’Eyesines, Rouge Vif D’Etampes, or Musquee de Provence (pictured) )
2 tbs. olive oil
2 leeks, sliced (Approximately 2 cups)
1 yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 sprigs rosemary, chopped (about 2 T)
3 sprigs thyme, chopped (about 1 1/2 t)
1 tbs. chopped sage
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped (about 1/4 cup chopped)
8 cups chicken broth (use homemade if you have it)
3 tbs. butter
1/3 cup half and half (I used creme fraiche)
1 tbs. sugar, optional (I didn’t use this)
salt and pepper to taste
First, get a sharp knife. Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds. Cut the halves into manageable chunks, then cut away the outer rind. Dice the flesh into 1-inch cubes. It’s really not so hard if you have a good chef’s knife.
Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot, medium heat. Add the leeks, onion and herbs and sweat the aromatics until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin cubes and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 20-30 minutes.
Puree using an immersion blender. Swirl in the butter and the half and half. Add the nutmeg, then taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Use the sugar if you like a slight sweetness to your soups.