Jamie's Autumn Potage a Variation on a Variation of French Pumpkin Soup I got the recipe for this delicious soup at the farmer's market in Carrboro, North Carolina. The C'est si Bon! cooking school was advertising and had samples of the soup with the recipe to take home. The original recipe had some slightly exotic and/or expensive ingredients like leeks and baby fennel, so I've adapted it to ingredients that are more available and affordable. I absolutely love the flavor of this soup and if you puree it, it makes very nutritious baby food!
3 T of fat, olive oil, butter, duck, chicken or goose fat 2 large onions, chopped 1 celery heart, chopped 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or a couple pinches of dried) 2 bay leaves 3 pounds of fresh pumpkin or other hard squash (I like butternut better than pumpkin), cut in 1" cubes 1 pound of carrots, chopped 8 cups of chicken stock salt and pepper heavy cream or plain yogurt, optional
Heat the fat in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and celery, stir well, cover, and cook over LOW for 15 minutes. Do not brown them. (I add a little salt here to help sweat the veg.) Add the carrot and cook, covered, for another 10 minutes. Add the cubed squash to the pot, then the stock. Season with salt and pepper (go easy on the salt if using store-bought stock) and add the bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, partially covered for 45 minutes or until the squash is very tender. At this point you can either mash the soup with a potato masher or puree it with a stick blender. (I prefer to puree it.) If pureeing it in a blender or food processor, let it cool a bit first. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add more stock. Check seasoning and add more salt if needed. When serving you can drizzle a bit of cream or yogurt on the top.
I can't tell you how delicious and warming this is! Serve with some bread and cheese to fill out the meal.