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Recipe for Pumpkin chowder

Serves 6

The vegetables in the soup should have a little bite to them, so be careful not to overcook them. If you don’t have cream on hand, you can substitute 2 tablespoons of sour cream. The pumpkin broth can be made a day in advance and the pumpkin pieces can be refrigerated until final preparation.

1sugar pumpkin or sugar pie pumpkin (4 pounds)
2small onions, 1 coarsely chopped, 1 finely chopped
½bulb fresh fennel, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2large carrots, cut into
1-inch pieces
3stalks celery, 2 coarsely chopped, 1 finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
3sprigs fresh sage
6cups water
½cup (1 stick) unsalted
butter
¼cup flour
2bay leaves
1large yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
½tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
¼cup heavy cream or 2
tablespoons sour cream
1tablespoon lemon juice

1. Core the pumpkin and cut a slice from the bottom so it sits flat. Remove the inner parts and seeds; set them aside. Carefully cut off the rind; set aside. Cut the pumpkin into ½-inch dice.

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2. In a soup pot, combine the pumpkin inner parts, seeds, and rind. Add the coarsely chopped onion, fennel, carrots, coarsely chopped celery, salt, pepper, sage, and water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and set on the cover askew. Simmer for 45 minutes.

3. Strain the pumpkin broth into a bowl.

4. In a large flameproof casserole over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the finely chopped onion and celery. Cook, stirring, for 6 minutes or until the vegetables soften. Slowly add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin broth and cook, stirring, as the mixture returns to a boil. Add the bay leaves. Lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.

5. Add the yellow pepper and tomato. Turn off the heat and slowly stir in the heavy cream or sour cream. Add the lemon juice, taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper, if you like.
Peggy Hernandez. Adapted from Seth Morrison

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