Baked Pumpkin Soup

From M. Allan Schanbacher

  • 5-7 lbs Cinderella or Long Is. Cheese Pumpkin
  • 4 T Butter, softened
  • Kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1 lg Yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 C Fresh white breadcrumbs, toasted
  • 1/2 tsp Ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Ground sage
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 C Grated Swiss cheese
  • 4 C Chicken stock
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1/2 C Heavy cream (optional)

Cut a lid about 4 inches in diameter out of the top of the pumpkin and set aside. Remove and discard seeds and strings. Rub inside of pumpkin and lid with 1 T butter, and generously season with salt. Place pumpkin in the middle of an earthenware baking dish.

Melt remaining 3 T butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 20 minutes. Stir in breadcrumbs and cook for 2 minutes; add nutmeg and sage, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, stir in cheese, then spoon mixture into pumpkin. Pour enough stock into the pumpkin to come within ½ inch of the rim. Lay bay leaves on top, then fit lid onto pumpkin.

Bake until pumpkin begins to soften and brown on the outside and the stock bubbles on the inside, about 1½ hours.

Remove from oven, then carefully remove lid and set alongside the pumpkin. At the table, use a long spoon to scrape flesh from bottom and sides of the pumpkin, taking care not to cause the sides to collapse. Just before serving, stir in heavy cream, if you like.