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Pumpkin Soup with Brown Butter and Crème Fraîche

This warming autumn soup is the creation of Chef Marjorie Taylor, who runs the Cook’s Atelier in Burgundy. She finishes the soup with a drizzle of brown butter, which adds a nutty richness. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large pumpkin, about 3 lb.
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 large fresh sage sprigs
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 leek, white and light green portions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 bouquet garni (4 parsley sprigs, 4 thyme sprigs and 1 bay leaf, tied with kitchen twine)
  • Crème fraîche for serving
  • Freshly grated nutmeg for serving
  • Fresh chervil leaves for serving

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  

Cut the pumpkin in half from the stem to the root end. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Drizzle 1 Tbs. of the olive oil on the inside of each pumpkin half. Season with fleur de sel and pepper and tuck a sage sprig into each half. Place, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the pumpkin is tender and slightly caramelized, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, discard the sage sprigs and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Set aside  

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, melt 4 Tbs. of the butter. Add the leek, carrots, shallots and onion, and season with fleur de sel and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the pumpkin, stock and bouquet garni and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently to meld the flavors, about 20 minutes. Remove and discard the bouquet garni.

Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the soup to the pot. Adjust the seasonings with fleur de sel and keep the soup warm.

Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 4 Tbs. butter and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter browns and smells nutty, 3 to 4 minutes.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Top each portion with a dollop of crème fraîche and a sprinkling of nutmeg. Drizzle with a spoonful of the brown butter and garnish with chervil leaves. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Recipe by Chef Marjorie Taylor.