Pumpkin & Cheese Soup

October 20, 2016

This is truly the Best Ever Pumpkin and Cheese Soup, especially because it is baked and served right in the pumpkin!

I found the original recipe in a Holiday Country Cooking magazine almost 20 years ago. I've modified and updated the ingredients. I make it every year and it's always a hit!  -- Vicki

Ingredients:
1 medium pumpkin, about 8 lbs.
1 stick unsalted butter
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
6 Tbs. flour
¾ - 1 tsp. Stuart's Spices Pumpkin Pie Spice
Stuart's Spices Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste
2 cups light cream or half and half
1½ - 2 cups Gruyere or Swiss cheese
12 slices of crusty baguette
salt to taste 

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 325°
  • Cut out the top of the pumpkin, creating a lid with stem attached. Scrape all the seeds and stringy material from inside and off the lid. Optional - rub inside of pumpkin with salt and pepper. Even more optional - rub inside of pumpkin with unsalted butter.
  • Melt stick of butter over moderately low heat until foamy. Add flour, making a roux, and cook 3-5 minutes until light and golden.
  • Slowly add the stock, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil to thicken.
  • Reduce heat. Add cream. Add Pumpkin Pie Spice. Add black pepper and salt, both  to taste. 
  • Slowly add cheese, stirring constantly, letting cheese melt before adding more. 
  • Pour soup into pumpkin. Cover with pumpkin lid and set on baking sheet.
  • Bake at 325° until the pumpkin is tender but still holds its shape. Begin checking after an hour. The pumpkin may take 1½ hours.

To serve:

  • Bake or toast the bread until golden brown. Place a slice of bread into the soup bowl. Ladle some of the soup over the bread, scraping some pumpkin into each bowl. 

Prep + Cook Time: About 25 minutes prep, then bakes about 1½ hours

Feeds: about 6-8 servings