I saw this recipe for pumpkin soup in the Mesa Grill cookbook and thought it would be a great way to use a can of pumpkin. The pumpkin puree is combined with chicken or vegetable stock and seasoned with salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. A dose of chipotle puree contributes some heat, and both honey and maple syrup are added to round out the flavors. The soup can be put together in minutes, and is dressed up with a drizzle of cinnamon creme fraiche and toasted pumpkin seeds.
The recipe calls for a fair amount of cinnamon – Mexican canela to be exact. If you can find canela, I would highly recommend using it. I buy canela in bark form and grind it myself. You can make the recipe with other varieties of cinnamon, but it won’t be exactly the same. If you haven't yet converted to grating your own nutmeg, I would encourage you to give it a try. All you need is a whole nutmeg and a microplane. It's slightly more work, but makes a huge difference in flavor.
I liked the addition of toasted pumpkin seeds as a garnish; they added a nice crunch. The next time I make this, I'm going to try topping it with candied pumpkin seeds, I think that would be even better.
On a completely unrelated note, someone gave me 3 pounds of blanched sliced almonds. What should I make with them? Please leave a comment or email me with your ideas.