Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Pumpkin Seed Oil


2 sugar pumpkins (~2 1/4 cups pumpkin puree)
Olive oil  or (our preference) Roasted Pumpkin Seed Oil
2 shallots, diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced
2 Cups vegetable stock
1 Cup light coconut milk (or sub similar amount of another non-dairy milk with varied results)
2 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
1/4 tsp each:
sea salt
black pepper
ground cinnamon
ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350° F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Use a heavy-duty chef’s knife to cut off the tops from the two sugar pumpkins, then slicing them in half, top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds with a sturdy metal spoon. Set aside the seeds if you’d like to roast them later.

Brush the exposed surface of the pumpkins with oil and place the halves, face down, on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake pumpkins for 45-50 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces the rind. Remove baking sheet from the oven and allow the pumpkins to cool for 10 minutes before peeling away the skin. Set peeled pumpkin aside.

Combine about 1 Tbsp of the oil with the shallots and garlic in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Sauté the ingredients over medium heat, stirring frequently, until shallots and garlic are browned.

Add the vegetable broth and all the remaining ingredients, including the pumpkin, to the shallots and garlic, bringing the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for ten minutes before turning off the burner and allowing soup to cool slightly.

Transfer the cooled mixture to a blender [or use an immersion blender] to puree the pumpkin soup. If the soup is too warm, it will blow the lid off your blender, and spray hot pumpkin soup all over the kitchen. To play it safe, put a kitchen towel over the top of the blender lid before mixing to avoid any accidents.  Safety recommendations aside, blend the soup to the desired consistency/texture, and return it to the cooking pot.

Re-warm the soup over medium-low heat for another 5-10 minutes. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

Serve with a drizzle of Roasted Pumpkin Seed Oil on the top, and/or top each bowl with crisp croutons.

Makes 3 – 4 servings. Cooled leftover soup can be covered and refrigerated for 2-3 days, or frozen for longer-term storage.

Adapted from The Minimalist Baker.