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1 sugar pumpkin (2 if you plan on using one as a bowl)
1 onion - diced into small bits
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1-2 tbsp butter (optional)
1 tsp ginger powder
5-6 cups pumpkin puree
5-6 cups vegetarian broth
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup agave
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Goat Cheese topping
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz goat cheese
Prepare your sugar pumpkin for roasting in the oven. Slice off the top and split it down the middle with a knife. Be careful when cutting pumpkins!! It is very easy to accidentally cut yourself because they have such thick and strong skins. Go slowly and never force the knife, push, or pull too hard. Once you've split your pumpkin, use a spoon or ice cream scoop to remove the guts and seeds from inside. It does not need to be perfect since we will be baking the pumpkin, but still be thorough!
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Place both halves of your pumpkin on a baking sheet or cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. To check if your pumpkin is done, use a fork or knife to prod the surface. If the utensil pierces the skin and pumpkin easily, then your pumpkin is ready. If it is still tough, then it needs to cook for a bit longer.
Remove your pumpkin from the oven and allow it to cool. Using a knife or your hands, cut or peel the skin from the pumpkin. Make sure to cut off any other burnt areas as well (most likely the surfaces touching the baking sheet). Cut the skinned pumpkin into small 2-inch chunks. Prepare a blender, food processor, or stick blender. Puree the pumpkin with any of these devices. Only puree small bits at a time - whatever your machine can handle. Separating the pumpkin into sections will make it much easier.
If your pumpkin is still too lumpy, no worries. You can optionally re-puree the whole mixture at the end of the recipe. If not, then you've got yourself a legit "Lumpy" pumpkin soup!
Heat a large cooking pot on high and add your diced onions and olive oil. Stir these ingredients and cook them until the onions are translucent and see through. Once that's done, pour in your white wine vinegar to deglaze the pot. At this point you can optionally add in butter if you would like a richer flavor to your soup. Add in your ginger powder, pumpkin puree, and vegetable broth. If your sugar pumpkin only made 5 cups of puree, then only add in 5 cups of vegetable broth, and so on. Once these ingredients are mixed in, add the brown sugar and agave. Agave is also optional if you would not like your soup to taste too sweet.
Constant taste tests are your friend at this point in the process! There are many spices that you can add to soups, and if you feel your concoction is missing something integral, don't be afraid to experiment a little! If you're too scared to experiment, then salt and pepper are your safest bets to start off with.
Bring the entire soup to a boil, then lower the heat and allow it to simmer. Cover the top of the pot and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
To make the goat cheese topping, empty out one cup of heavy cream into a mixing bowl. Mix and beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add in your room temperature goat cheese, evenly crumbling it over the whole mixture. Sprinkle some thyme on top. Mix it all again until combined.
Now that your soup is finished, remove it from the stove. Stir in the remainder of the heavy cream and nutmeg. Be careful with nutmeg as it is a very strong spice. Add it in slowly and continually taste test until it matches the flavor you like.
At this point you have the option of puree-ing all of the soup again or leaving it as it is. A little lumpiness never hurt anyone! But depending on your taste you may be looking for a smoother experience.
Serve the soup piping hot in a bowl and dollop the goat cheese spread on top! Enjoy with friends and family! We hope this soup will keep you warm in the cold autumn and winter months!
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