With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving ahead, autumn is the perfect season to take advantage of a bountiful pumpkin harvest. While large pumpkins are best for carving spooky Jack O’Lanterns, the smaller varieties are best for cooking; the cooked pulp of smaller varieties like Cinderella or Sugar Pie pumpkins make a rich soup that’s frighteningly delicious.
The executive chefs from the Viking Cruises kitchen have created this velvety version of Pumpkin Soup, a creamy fall favorite that Native Americans introduced to Columbus, who then brought the seeds back to the Old World where it was adopted into their cuisine.
As fall travelers on Viking’s European cruises have discovered – whether it’s onboard the new Viking ocean voyages or the Viking longships for classic river cruises such as “Cities of Light” from Paris to Prague, “Passage to Eastern Europe” from Budapest to Bucharest, or the magical 15-day “Grand European Tour”– Europeans have also embraced a traditional American Halloween as their own. In fact, Halloween is now the world’s second largest commercial holiday, paling only to Christmas. This quick-and-easy recipe from the Viking cuisine team is an excellent addition to the home-chef’s holiday table and a tasteful memory from Viking’s European cruises fall menu.
2 T olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 yellow onion, minced
2 (28 oz) cans pumpkin puree
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
6 C low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
3/4 C grated parmesan cheese, optional
1/2 C sour cream
1/4 C candied walnuts
Small thyme sprigs
Directions: Place olive oil in a large saucepan. Add shallots and onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Stir in unsweetened pumpkin puree, salt, pepper, cumin and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese. To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with sour cream, walnuts, thyme and parmesan shavings.
Makes 6-8 servings.