Pumpkin and Fennel Soup with Chili Oil
Served in a pumpkin bowl, this autumn-inspired soup is perfect for an impressive Thanksgiving starter.
- 6 small pumpkins (about 5 inches in diameter)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper, divided
- 1 bulb fennel (about 1 lb), cored and chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 small potato (about 8 oz), peeled and chopped
- 1 Tbsp honey
- Pinch each ground allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp chili oil (optional)
1. Preheat oven 350˚F. Cut around stem of each pumpkin as if carving a jack-o’-lantern; remove tops. Scoop out seeds and stringy membranes; discard. Brush inside of pumpkins with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with half of the salt and pepper; place cut sides down on parchment paper–lined baking sheet.
2. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until just tender; let cool. Scoop out pulp (you should have 4 cups), leaving 1-inch border all around; reserve pumpkin bowls and set aside.
3. Heat remaining oil in large saucepan set over medium heat; cook fennel, onion, thyme, ginger, and remaining salt and pepper for 5 to 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in broth, 2 cups water, pumpkin pulp, potato and honey; bring to boil.
4. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat; purée with hand blender until smooth. Stir in allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Serve soup in pumpkin bowls. Drizzle with chili oil (if using).
Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds if desired. Save any extra pumpkin pulp for another meal.