A refined soup with the flavors of fall. The cider and spices compliment the sweetness of the pumpkin.
3 T. unsalted butter
6 to 8 large Shallots, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced (optional)
3 T. grated fresh ginger root
1 (3 pound) sugar pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes (6 cups)
1 cup apple cider
8 cups chicken stock
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
2 whole cloves
3 allspice berries
1 large Turkish bay leaf
1 teaspoon. white peppercorns
salt and freshly ground white pepper
creme fraiche (optional)
No nutrition information available
Heat butter in 5-quart heavy pot until frothy. Add shallots, garlic (if using), and ginger, cover, stirring occasionally, cook over moderate heat until shallots are softened (3 to 4 minutes).
Add spices, stirring constantly until fragrance is released, a couple of minutes more.
Add pumpkin and cider, bring to a boil and boil uncovered, until cider is reduced by half. Stir in stock, 1 teaspoon. of kosher salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until pumpkin is very tender, about 20-30 minutes.
Cautiously puree the hot pumpkin mixture in a blender, in batches, then force soup through a medium-mesh sieve, discarding solids. Adjust soup for seasonings and desired consistency.
Serve soup with 1 T. of creme fraiche and freshly ground white pepper, swirled in each bowl.