Sugar Roasted Pumpkin Soup w/ Pomegranate, Pumpkin Seeds, Crème Fraiche & Nutmeg

pumpkin_soup

Makes 10 – 8 ounce servings:
1-3lb Pumpkin: skinned, seeded, cubed, roasted and pureed or 2-29oz. cans Organic Pumpkin Puree
4 cups Whipping Cream
2 cups Milk
2 cups Vegetable Stock
1 teaspoons Sea Salt
¼ teaspoon Freshly Ground Nutmeg (another ¼ teaspoon for roasting)
¼ teaspoon Ground Allspice (another ¼ teaspoon for roasting)
¼ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon (another ¼ teaspoon for roasting}
2 tablespoons Light Brown Sugar (another 2 tablespoons for roasting)
1 Lemons, juiced
Cayenne Pepper to taste (usually depending on how you prefer, it should give a subtle kick on the back of your tongue)
¼ cup Sour Cream
¼ cup Whipping Cream
1cup roasted and salted Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
2 Pomegranates, seeds only
¼ cup Pumpkin Seed Oil

Directions:
Combine the ¼ cup whipping cream and the ¼ cup of sour cream (you just made crème fraiche) and place in the refrigerator to use later as part of the soup’s garnish. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, cut your pumpkin in half, remove the seeds and place on a backing sheet. Season the pumpkin with Nutmeg, Allspice, Cinnamon, and Brown Sugar. Place the pumpkin in the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until fork tender. Remove the pumpkin from the oven, with a large spoon remove the pulp from the rind and discard the rind, place the pulp in a blender and blend until smooth. In a large pot combine the pumpkin puree, vegetable stock, milk and cream. Whisk together for 2-3 minutes on medium high heat until all of the pumpkin puree has been incorporated into the liquid, being careful not to allow the cream to scald the bottom of your pot.
When the pumpkin puree has been incorporated and the consistency of the soup is smooth it is time to season.

While whisking the soup add the Nutmeg, Allspice, Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, and Sea Salt (if you do not have Sea Salt substitute with any other salt you may have). Simmer for 10-15 minutes allowing the spices to permeate the soup. If the consistency of the soup is too thick now would be the time to add more liquid to thin it out (you can use vegetable stock or milk). At this point, taste and adjust the seasoning.

The amount of seasoning I use for my recipe is what I recommend, however you may like it a little more savory or sweet, depending on your taste. Make adjustments according to your preference.
Remember when adjusting seasoning, you can always add but you can never take away. Meaning don’t be heavy handed when adjusting the seasoning, you do not want to ruin what you’ve worked so hard to make.

Tips: After you have reached the desired flavor and level of seasoning you want, there’s a little secret to take your soup to the next level. Because this is a creamy soup it has the potential to be very rich and heavy. One way you can cut through the richness is to add a little acid. Lemon juice, that’s an acid in the culinary sense. The acid in the lemon juice will lift the flavor and cut through the fat of the cream just enough so that it still coats your tongue, it is very subtle. Next, cayenne pepper, a little will go a long way. All you want is enough to feel a little bite on the back of your tongue.

Garnish: Retrieve the Crème Fraiche from the refrigerator, and gather the remaining ingredients, Chopped Chives, Pomegranate Seeds; there’s a great YouTube video on how to get the seeds out of a pomegranate, Roasted and Salted Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas), and Pumpkin Seed Oil.

Ladle 8 ounces of soup into a bowl and garnish. Drizzle some of the Crème Fraiche in the middle of the soup, top with several Pomegranate Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds and Chives, drizzle with Pumpkin Seed Oil and you’re done. The contrast in colors is beautiful and the combination of sweet, savory and tart combines to make the perfect soup. I know you’ll agree.

This soup has become a family favorite and holiday tradition at my house, maybe it will be at yours too.