Pumpkin Cheese Soup
The pumpkin is used as an ingredient in the soup and as a soup tureen. It makes a great centerpiece for your table.
Serves: 8Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 1 hour 55 minutesDifficulty: Medium
- 1 whole pumpkin (5-6 lbs.)
- 2 tsp. butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, shredded
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 4½ cups reduced-sodium, fat-free vegetable broth
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- ¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. 1% milk
- 1½ cups shredded white cheddar cheese, divided
- 6 Tbsp. dry white wine
- ⅓ cup minced fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut off the top of the pumpkin (reserving it) and scoop out and discard the seeds. Brush the inside with the melted butter. Replace the top and place the pumpkin on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork. (The pumpkin should be a bit droopy but still hold its shape well.)
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons water in a soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add the broth, garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Working in 2 or 3 batches, purée the vegetable mixture in a blender or food processor. Pour back into the soup pot and stir in all the milk. Reheat gently. Add 1 cup cheese and wine, and heat until the cheese melts, stirring frequently to avoid scorching.
- Place the hot pumpkin on a serving platter and ladle in the soup. Sprinkle with the parsley. To serve, ladle out soup at the table, scooping a little bit of pumpkin into each serving and topping with remaining cheese.