Adapted; Scott Peacock & Edna Lewis-The Gift of Southern Cooking
2 small pumpkin (about 4 lbs) or canned pumpkin
6 slices bacon
1 large sweet onion
2 small shallots
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup sherry
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Split the pumpkins in half and remove the seeds and fiber from them. Place them on a parchment lined roasting side, cut side down and add 1 cup water to pan.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until the skin is a nice deep color and the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife.
Remove from the oven and let cool enough to handle.
Peel off the skin, or alternately scoop out the flesh and set aside in a bowl.
While the pumpkin is baking prepare your other ingredients.
Cut bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and cook in a heavy soup pot over medium-low heat till nice and brown. When done, remove bacon pieces and set aside.
Keeping the bacon fat in the pot add your onions, shallots, leeks and garlic and saute over medium-high heat, stirring often so that the mixture doesn’t burn, for about 5 minutes.
Add your thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper, nutmeg and pumpkin. Stir the pumpkin well with the other ingredients and saute for about 5 minutes longer. Be careful that your vegetables do not burn.
Add your chicken stock, bring the mixture to a simmer and let cook for 20 minutes longer.
Remove the bay leaf from the pot, and carefully pour the mixture into a food processor or blender in batches and puree till smooth.
Return the mixture to the soup pot or dutch oven and bring the soup to a simmer again.
Add the sherry, and simmer gently for 3-5 minutes. Add the cream if desired and taste for seasoning as you might need more salt, pepper and or nutmeg.
Serve with fresh grated nutmeg and the browned bacon bits on top.
Hope you All have a Safe and fun Halloween!!!