This is a revision of my first Pumpkin Bisque recipe.
1 small pie pumpkin (about 3 pounds)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
2 shallots, finely diced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups boxed chicken broth (vegetable broth can be substituted for a vegetarian recipe)
1 tablespoon herbes de provence
1 bay leaf
1 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 375 and open a beer.
2. Remove fibrous/seedy part of pumpkin with a spoon, peel off the shell and cut the flesh into 1-inch cubes. Place in a covered baking dish with 1/2 inch of water and drizzle with maple syrup. Cook until fork-tender, about 30 minutes.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottom saucepan. Add the diced vegetables and sauté, seasoning with salt and pepper and stirring occasionally until soft. If the pan gets a little dry, add a splash of beer rather than more butter.
4. Add broth and herbs to pan and bring to a boil.
5. Pour off liquid from baking dish and add pumpkin to simmering soup, mashing gently with a fork.
6. Simmer 5 minutes, add cream and remaining butter. Remove from heat as soon as soup returns to boil.
7. Discard bay leaf, blend soup until combined and visibly chunk-free, but some texture and bite remains.
8. Pour into four bowls and garnish with sour cream, crumbled bacon and fresh basil. Serve immediately with crusty bread or croutons.