This recipe comes with a very personal story. And I dedicate this post to my lovely cousin, Sandra Bignardi who asked so nice and sweetly for the recipe.
Pumpkin is one of my favorite fall vegetables. Ten years ago, when my husband and I were planning our wedding, I wanted to do something special and personal for our guests. While discussing the reception dinner menu with our wedding planner, I spontaneously asked if the chef wouldn’t mind making my pumpkin soup recipe as the first course. The chef happily agreed and the rest is history. It warms my heart whenever relatives speak so fondly of that soup… even 10 years later.
Chef Terri’s Pumpkin Soup
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions, diced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup dry sherry
8 cups chicken stock (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian recipe)
4 1-pound sugar pumpkins, roasted (yields about 3 pounds of roasted pumpkin)
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
To prepare the pumpkin: Cut open the top of each pumpkin and scrape out the seeds and stringy pulp. Prick the insides of the pumpkins with a fork and brush with canola oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and roast in a 350℉ oven. Roast for about 40 minutes or until soft. Peel the skin off and then cube, or scoop out with a spoon and set aside.
In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, but not browned, 10-12 minutes. Add sherry and cook until liquid evaporates, 3-5 minutes. Add chicken broth, pumpkin, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until veggies are tender, 35 – 45 minutes. Remove bay leaves and cinnamon stick.
In a blender or food processor, puree vegetable mixture in 4 batches. To achieve that velvety, silky texture, strain the soup through a fine-mesh sieve or chinois. Return to the soup pot and warm over low heat. Add nutmeg, vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into warmed bowls and garnish with pomegranate seeds and parsley.