1 kg grey pumpkin, peeled, chopped 3 cloves garlic, peeled 1 medium (150g) brown onion, chopped 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 3 cups (750ml) salt-reduced chicken stock 2/3 cup (160ml) thickened light cream 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme salt and freshly ground black pepper Cheese croutes 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon seeded mustard 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme 1 small French stick, sliced thinly 1/3 cup (25g) finely grated parmesan cheese NOTE: The soup can be made a day ahead. The croutes are best made close to serving.
Preheat the oven to moderately hot (200°C). Combine pumpkin, garlic and onion in a large baking dish; drizzle with oil. Roast in a moderately hot oven for about 30 minutes or until soft. Blend or process roasted vegetables with stock until smooth. Place mixture in a large saucepan, stir over heat until hot; stir in cream and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. For the cheese croutes, combine the oil, mustard and thyme in a small bowl; brush the mixture over bread slices. Place slices on an oven tray. Bake in moderately hot oven for 5 minutes; sprinkle with the cheese and bake for a further 3 minutes or until crisp. Serve soup with cheese croutes. Soup suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave.