Harvest Pumpkin Soup

by Sally Austin

The Soup

1 pumpkin
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion
2 small leeks (white and light green parts)
1 russet potato
1 stalk celery
2 large cloves garlic
6 c. chicken broth
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. Freshly ground pepper

The Mushroom topping

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 c. sliced assorted wild mushrooms
1 tbsp. minced shallot
2 tbsp. snipped fresh chives
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

1. To make soup: Heat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large roasting pan, toss pumpkin with 1 tablespoon oil. Roast 45 minutes, tossing frequently or until tender.

2. While pumpkin roasts, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat; add onion, leeks, potato, celery, and garlic. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Cover with lid, reduce heat to low, and slowly cook vegetables 20 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until tender. Add roasted pumpkin and broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring several times. Puree mixture with a stick blender, or in several batches in a regular blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper.

3. To make mushroom topping: Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add mushrooms and shallot. Sauté 4 minutes, tossing several times, until just tender. Remove from heat; season with chives, thyme, salt, and pepper.

4. To serve, ladle soup into 8 bowls. Top with mushroom garnish.