Taking advantage of the season's abundant pumpkins and butternut squash, this satisfying puréed soup showcases fall's mellow flavors. It can be made the night before and served with crème fraîche (or substitute with sour cream or a dash of whipping cream) stirred in at the last minute. Nuts are author and chef Mimi Thorisson's unexpected flavorful flourish: "I love to add walnuts or almonds to any dish I can," she says. "They give a wholesomeness to this soup, and a bit of surprise."
"Living in the country means that seasonal ingredients are always within my reach."—Mimi Thorrison
Read on for Mimi's mouthwatering recipe for pumpkin soup, adapted with permission from her new book A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse ($26, amazon.com).
Serves: 4 to 6
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Active Time: 40 minutes
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 6 shallots, thinly sliced 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1 1½ lb. pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped 1 large parsnip, peeled and chopped Fine sea salt Freshly ground black pepper 2 cups whole milk, plus more if needed 1¼ cups vegetable stock ¾ cup crème fraîche 1/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. 2. Add shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until lightly golden, 8 minutes. 3. Add pumpkin and parsnips, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 8 minutes, stirring often, until just tender. 4. Pour in milk and vegetable stock; bring to a boil. 5. Lower heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. 6. Purée soup in batches in a blender, adding a little milk or water if too thick. Season with salt and pepper. 7. Mix together crème fraîche, walnuts, and chives. 8. Divide soup among bowls, and top each with a spoonful of the crème fraîche mixture and a sprinkling of chives.