A wonderful Organic Pumpkin Soup recipe made with Apple Croutons

Chef’s note: Do not use the traditional Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin for this recipe, as it can be watery and lacks flavor. Try an organic heirloom pumpkin such as Cinderella’s Carriage, or any other organic heirloom variety that packs a punch with flavor.

6-8 pounds of fresh organic pumpkin roasted, seeds and strings removed
2 tablespoons of organic unsalted butter
3 large organic carrots
2 large organic onions
4-5 large organic leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise, washed and chopped
12 cups chicken stock (Homemade is the best! You can also use veal stock or vegetable stock.)
2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon to taste
1-2 teaspoons of freshly grated nutmeg
½-3/4 cup of maple syrup, to taste
1 cup of heavy organic cream (or homemade crème fraiche)

Crouton Garnish:
2-3 Granny Smith apples, or other tart apples, cored and sliced into thin rounds
¼ cup of organic brown sugar
2 tablespoons of unsalted organic butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cut pumpkin in to quarters and roast in shallow baking dish until tender, about 20-30 minutes. Puree pumpkin in cuisenart or blender.

In large heavy kettle, melt butter and sweat remaining vegetables until just softened about 10-12 minutes. Add broth, pumpkin puree, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste and simmer covered 40 minutes to infuse flavors. Stir in syrup and cream, simmer 5 minutes uncovered. Season with salt and pepper.

Puree soup in blender in batches, until smooth. If necessary, transfer back to kettle to reheat and adjust seasonings.

CROUTONS:

Cover cookie sheet with foil. Brush foil with melted butter. Spread apples in one layer over foil. Sprinkle apples with brown sugar. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Transfer to rack and cool. Serve each cup of soup with one to two round apple croutons.