Pumpkin Soup with Pancetta, Crème Fraiche, and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

by Laura on October 26, 2010

It’s a blustery day here today.  It’s raining, and it’s the first really cold rain of the fall.  When I headed to the market, I was underdressed, damp and shivering, and clueless about what to cook for dinner.  Then a display of pie pumpkins caught my attention as I entered, and I couldn’t help but picture them transformed into a warming bowl of soup.   “As a first course?” my Dear Husband asked sheepishly and with a grin when I told him.  So with a chicken and some vegetables popped into the oven to roast, we’ll all be happy and warm tonight.  This is delicious and filling, velvety and comforting.   The pumpkin simmers in chicken stock with root vegetables, peppercorns, star anise, cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, allspice berries, and thyme, and it’s finished with a generous glug of rich cream.  Make it on a cold, rainy day.

Serving Suggestions

This soup would make a nice lunch or a lovely first course.  It would also make a nice light dinner with some crusty bread and a peppery salad.  You could substitute bacon for the pancetta, and sour cream for the crème fraiche and I think it would be equally tasty.  Some fresh sage leaves crisped in butter would also make a pretty and delicious garnish.

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