Roasted Pumpkin Bisque in a Pumpkin Tureen

  • 1 (2 to 2 1/2-pound) fresh pumpkin, quartered, stem and seeds removed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 medium white or yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or as needed to thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 (5 to 6-pound) fresh pumpkin, stem left intact (for tureen)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. For the Soup: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the pumpkin quarters in a baking dish, cut-side up; season with salt and pepper. Roast until golden brown and fork tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. If the pumpkin is getting too brown, cover with aluminum foil to finish the cooking process.

2. Heat a large sauce pot over medium heat; add the butter and one tablespoon of the oil and heat through. Stir in the onions, and cook until tender and translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes; add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more.

3. Add the flour and stir to combine; cook to a pale golden 3. den color, about 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Pour the stock into the flour mixture, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Season to taste with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.

5. Remove and discard the peel from the roasted pumpkin; add the pulp to the stock. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender* (or immersion blender); strain through a coarse sieve. The soup should have a silky, creamy texture. Lower the oven temperature to 250ºF.

6. For the Tureen: Wash and dry the large pumpkin. Cut off the top 1/4 of the pumpkin to make a lid. Pull out the seeds and fibers, scraping the inside clean with a large metal spoon. Rub the outside of the pumpkin (and lid) with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Place on a baking sheet, and cook in the 250ºF oven until warmed throughout, about 15 minutes.

7. Bring the pureed soup to the boil, then immediately reduce the heat and simmer 15 minutes more. Remove from the heat; stir in the heavy cream and fresh thyme. Check for seasoning, adding more salt, black pepper and/or cayenne as needed.

8. Place the warmed pumpkin on a platter; ladle the soup into the pumpkin tureen, then sprinkle parsley over the top. Replace the pumpkin lid and serve immediately.

Tips and Techniques
* Use extreme caution when pureeing hot liquids in a blender or food processor. Fill the blender or food processor no more than halfway full; carefully hold the lid in place, using a towel to protect your hand. Blend multiple batches if necessary, as over-filling is very dangerous.

Make It Light: Substitute whole milk for the heavy cream.

Variation: Serve the soup in individual mini pumpkin tureens.

Serves 8

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