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Curried Pumpkin Soup
By Jim Bailey, a.ka. "The Yankee Chef"

I have often served this delicious soup prepared as directed below. For those
of you who don't wish to go through the hassle (well worth it I might add) of
preparing the pumpkin, simply use 4 (14 oz.) cans of pureed, pure pumpkin.

1 large pumpkin (6-8 lbs.), as soup tureens for serving soup, or use bowls
2 small pumpkins(2-3 lbs. each) for the soup itself
2 c. chicken broth
1 c. water
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 t. minced jalapeno chili
1 t. cinnamon
2 t. curry powder
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. dried ginger
1 c. heavy cream
2 oz. thinly sliced ham, julienned
1 T. butter or margarine
Crème fraiche or sour cream, optional
Croutons, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Cut two pumpkins in half. Reserve large pumpkin
for use as soup tureen. Scoop out seeds and place skin-side down on baking

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until soft. Scoop out pumpkin flesh into food
processor and puree until smooth. Pour pureed pumpkin into saucepan and
add chicken broth, water, maple syrup, jalapeno and spices. Bring to a boil,
then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, cut the top off the large pumpkin to create the
serving bowl if using. The hole should be wide enough to fit a ladle. Hollow
out seeds. Remove soup from heat and stir in heavy cream. Over high heat
with 1 T. butter or margarine, sear julienned ham just until browned over high
heat. You want them crisp and slightly blackened. If using bowls, drain and
dab each bowl with a large pinch of ham and sprinkle croutons over the top. Or
use all of cooked ham as garnish in large pumpkin serving container. Either
way, add crème fraiche or sour cream to finish.

Depending on how rich you want it, or how cold it is outside, you can use
yogurt, mascarpone or half-and-half in place of heavy cream. Just remember,
the thicker the dairy product you use, the thicker the soup will be.

About the author: Jim Bailey is The Yankee Chef™. Bailey is a third generation chef, a
New England food historian and food columnist. His first in a series of cookbooks is due
out in January of 2013, titled The Yankee Chef. He would love to hear from anyone about
their old family recipes. Email Jim Bailey any questions or comments:
The Heart of New England
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