Pumpkin Soup with Sage
You can always substitute butternut squash instead of fresh pumpkins for this recipe. They are equally delicious when roasted and then pureed in the soup!
3 pounds fresh pumpkin flesh (2 small pumpkins)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided for roasting pumpkins
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 leek, washed and sliced into rounds
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
2 teaspoons brown sugar
8 cups chicken broth
1 sprig sage
2 to 3 sprigs parsley
1 sprig thyme
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup dry white wine
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnishing
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut pumpkins in half and scoop out seeds and stringy fibers ( you can save the seeds for roasting). Brush cavity of pumpkins with 1 -2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, place on baking sheet cut-side down and bake for 50 minutes, until soft. Once pumpkins have cooled down, peel and slice into cubes.
In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, leek, bay leaves, the remaining teaspoon of salt and white pepper. Sauté leeks and onions until soft and golden, add pumpkin and sugar. Cook, stirring, pumpkin and onions for about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the chicken broth, herbs and wine. Stir to mix. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until pumpkin is tender and broth is just beginning to thicken slightly. Once the pumpkin is tender, remove bay leaves and herb sprigs; puree the soup using an immersion blender.
Garnish soup with cheese and serve with crusty bread or Gruyere croutons.