Fresh Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Hazelnuts
This lighter version of traditional pumpkin soup is made without cream. It gets rave reviews when brought to the table and served from a whole pumpkin shell.
2 large onions, diced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
2-3 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
3 large potatoes, peeled cut into chunks
6 cups fresh pumpkin, peeled and cut into pieces
8 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup brandy
1 large pumpkin
3 tbsp. toasted ground hazelnuts (garnish)
1. Heat the oil in a large pot, add the onions, cover and let them sweat for about 5-8 minutes. Add the thyme, basil, pepper, carrots, parsley, potatoes, cut pumpkin and stock.
2. Bring the soup to a boil, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the veggies are soft.
3. Meanwhile trim off about 2 inches from the top of the whole pumpkin and remove the seeds. The hollowed out pumpkin will be used as a tureen for serving the soup. When the soup is cooked transfer to a Cuisinart and process in batched until pureed. Return the soup to the pot, taste and season with sea salt and pepper. If you find the soup too thick adjust it with additional chicken stock. Warm the inside of the pumpkin shell by pouring boiling water halfway into the cavity. Set aside for 3 -5 minutes, or until the shell is heated, empty out the water. To finish the soup, add the brandy, stirring to combine. Transfer the soup to the pumpkin shell. Garnish with the toasted nuts.
Serves 10 to 12.