Rachael Merkt, Copy editor

Serving size: 7

1/2 cup butter 1 tsp nutmeg
2 cups onion, chopped 1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup celery, chopped 4 cups pumpkin puree
6 garlic cloves, minced 2 cups heavy cream
8 cups vegetable or chicken stock salt and pepper to taste
2 cups tomatoes, chopped 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped (optional)
4 bay leaves

Fall is here, which means every edible meal option suddenly has a “pumpkin spiced” slapped in front of its title. Although I am a fan of many a pumpkin spiced delectable, I wanted to find something that broke the “basic” barrier. Thus, I present Spicy Pumpkin Bisque.

Bisque is one of my favorite soups because it perfectly combines savory flavors with creamy broth and this pumpkin bisque is no exception. I began by melting butter in a large pot, adding the onions, celery and garlic once the butter had melted. After sautéeing the onions until clear, I added the stock, bay leaves, and spices. The vegetables should cook until soft. This takes about 20 minutes, after which I removed the vegetables from the liquid and pureed them. I found that adding some of the cooked broth to the vegetables helped make a smoother puree.

Once I had my puree, I mixed it back into the cooked broth in the stock pot. After adding the pureed vegetables I added the star ingredient, the pumpkin. I let the mixture simmer for a few minutes before adding the cream and salt and pepper to taste. I suggest letting the soup simmer on low for another five minutes; this allows the flavors to fully combine. Once the soup is ready to be served it can be garnished with parsley.

This bisque is perfect for cold fall and winter days due to its rather spicy flavor and can be eaten on its own, with a protein added (I would suggest chicken) or over rice. The recipe is easy to follow and the output is a soup I would expect to be served to me in a fancy bread bowl at a ski chalet. Pumpkin bisque proves that something with pumpkin can be perfectly spiced without being sweet at all.

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