It seems that our neighbor and I both decided to cook with pumpkin on the same day. While I was busy making this Pumpkin Bisque, our neighbor Pete brought over a loaf of pumpkin bread, still warm from the oven. The best part? It had walnuts in it, which means B.O.B. Bob wasn’t allowed to eat any of it, meaning it was ALL MINE! In return, I took a container of Pumpkin Bisque over to him when it was finished cooking. It’s nice to be surrounded by such wonderful neighbors, especially when you run out of an ingredient and don’t have time to run to the store. “Borrowing a cup of sugar” is a regular occurrence on our street.
I got the idea for this recipe from a Crate & Barrel Soup Mix, which was given to me as a gift last year for Christmas by my friend Patty. I’m ashamed to say that it took almost a year for me to get around to using it, mainly because it called for apple cider, which is not an ingredient that is easy to find at certain times of the year. The entire house smelled like Thanksgiving when I was cooking it on the stove in my huge Dutch oven, and it tasted like I threw every possible dish from a Thanksgiving meal into one big pot. My version didn’t smell or taste quite the same, but it’s still an easy soup to make with a wonderful taste. I think next time I’m going to try using a little sage, I swear that I could smell and taste it in the Crate & Barrel mix, but it wasn’t mentioned on the list of ingredients. Unfortunately the soup mix is not available this year; I checked right after I finished making it, thinking it would be a wonderful gift to give this year. Especially if I packaged it with two soup bowls and spoons like my friend Patty did when she gave it to me. It was such a great gift idea and I really did love it, even if it took me a year to realize it, and it tastes absolutely amazing with fresh homemade pumpkin bread!
- 1 Teaspoon Unsalted Butter
- 1 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Sweet Onion, Finely Diced
- 1 (32-oz.) Carton Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
- 1 1/2 Cups Apple Cider
- 1 (29-oz.) Can Pumpkin Puree
- 1 Granny Smith Apple, Finely Diced
- 1 Sweet Potato, Finely Diced (Approximately 2 Cups)
- 2 Red Potatoes, Finely Diced (Approximately 3 Cups)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Light Brown Sugar, Packed
- 2 Teaspoons Fresh Thyme (More for Serving)
- 1 1/2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- On medium-high heat, melt butter and olive oil together in a large Dutch oven.
- Add onion, saute 5 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the cream; bring to a boil.
- Cover and reduce heat to low.
- Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Puree soup in a blender in several small batches.
- Stir cream into soup.
- Do not fill blender more than halfway full when pureeing soup, or the steam will cause the lid to burst off. Work in several small batches.
- If you prefer not to use low-sodium chicken stock, hold off on adding salt until the end; you may need a lesser amount.
- Garnish soup with fresh thyme.
- Top with freshly grated Vermont white sharp cheddar.
- Add a few chopped sage leaves for a true autumn flavor.
- Crumble bacon over the top with some finely chopped scallions.
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