- One medium Cheese/Pie Pumpkin ( or squash, such as butternut, or large acorn)
- About 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt
- 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 large garlic clove, split, germ removed, and sliced
- 1 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 4 to 5 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 2 ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
- Crème fraiche for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Cut the pumpkin or squash it in half, scoop out the seeds and strings. Rub the exposed flesh with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Put on the baking sheet cut side down and slide it in the oven. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes (until flesh can be pierced easily with a knife.) When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the cooked flesh and cut it into cubes, about 2 inches on each side.
(Take the following instructions with a grain of salt. I just dumped and stirred. But to cook like you’re in France…) Warm the olive oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over low heat. Stir in the onion and shallot. Season lightly with salt and cook for 5 minutes or until the onions start to soften but not color. Add the celery, garlic and a pinch more salt and cook, stirring often, for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but still pale. Stir in the ginger, cumin, nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper, then add the roasted squash. Pour in the broth, increase the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the soup simmers gently. Add the pears. Partially cover the pot and simmer about 20 minutes, or until the pears and squash are soft enough to be mashed with the back of a spoon.
Puree the soup in batches in a blender or a food processor or use an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more broth or water and reheat until hot.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the crème fraiche.
Makes 4 to 6 servings