The sugar pumpkin called for in this recipe is a cooking variety; dense with meat, tender and perfect for cooking and baking, it is an excellent source of vitamin A. When you purée the soup, remove the center cap from the lid, covering the hole with a towel to allow steam to escape—this prevents the lid from popping off.
- 1 4-lb (1.8-kg) baby sugar pumpkin, halved and seeded
- 1 T (13 g) olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 slices thick-cut bacon, finely diced
- 2 med shallots, finely diced
- ¼ C (57 g) dry sherry
- 2 C (454 g) low sodium chicken broth
- 2 C (454 g) water
- 1½ tsp (1 g) fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 C (227 g) heavy cream
- Diced bacon
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Rub pumpkin halves with oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet cut side up and roast until tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Remove from oven; let cool, then scoop out flesh; set aside. Cook bacon in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium, stirring frequently until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon to a paper towel–lined plate; set aside. Add shallots to remaining fat in pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add sherry; simmer until reduced by half, 2-3 minutes. Add broth, water, thyme and pumpkin, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil over high; reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool slightly. Purée soup in batches in a blender until smooth; pour into a clean saucepan, stir in cream, season with salt and pepper and heat gently until hot throughout. Garnish with bacon and croutons just before serving.
Prep time: 30 minutes. Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes. Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional info per serving:
- Calories 255
- Fat 19 g
- Cholesterol 59 mg
- Sodium 651 mg
- Carbs 13 g
- Protein 5 g