This fifth week is a very special one because it is MY WEEK to pick the soup!
This recipe came from an OLD Bon Appetit (December 1994) and was included in an article entitled "Christmas Past Meets Christmas Present". This was my first time making it too, but it sounded like a good starter for Christmas dinner. And, indeed it was! We loved the combination of sweet (the pumpkin) and salty (the cheeses). I will make it again with fresh pumpkin to see how that affects the flavors.
Pumpkin Soup with Cheddar & Parmesan
Makes 8 servings
8 bacon slices, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
8 cups (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
2 16-ounce cans solid pack pumpkin
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 cup half and half
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
Saute bacon in heavy large Dutch oven over medium heat until brown, about 8 minutes. Pour off drippings. Add oil to same Dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery and saute until vegetables begin to soften, about 15 minutes. Stir in 8 cups stock, pumpkin and thyme. Increase heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
Puree soup in batches in blender. Return to Dutch oven. Mix in half and half and nutmeg. Stir in additional stock if soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to simmer before continuing.)
Combine cheeses in medium bowl. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each serving with 1/4 cup cheese mixture and serve.