Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Doesn't that title sound delightful? Very _____ (help me with the right word!) I'm envisioning it on the cover of Martha Stewart Living for the month of November, garnished with a hunk of shitake mushroom and maybe a sprig of basil.

I really wanted to give this recipe a try -- and use up the pumpkin we received at a white elephant gift exchange. Using pumpkin in a recipe is almost like a rite of passage. I needed to be brave.

I can't say this recipe was easy. No. But it wasn't exceedingly hard...once I got all the stringy seeds out of the pumpkin...and after removing the skins from the hot-out-of-the-oven pumpkin slices. Oh, and dumping part of the soup all over my blender base...

Other than that, it was a cinch! The oven did most of the work. I made a couple changes to the recipe -- want to see what I did??

Roasted Pumpkin Soup
1/2 butternut squash
1 small pumpkin
5 shitake mushrooms
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth (I used Celifibr Vegetarian Chicken broth -- 2 cubes dissolved in 4 cups of water)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut pumpkin into 2-inch wide slices (leave the peel on!). Peel and dice up the squash (2 inch cubes). Combine pumpkin, squash, mushrooms (I bought dry ones and soaked them for 30 minutes), onion, and garlic in a baking pan (nice thick black one so you don't end up burning things). Add oil and salt, toss to coat, then spread out. Roast until pumpkin is tender (about 30-40 minutes), rotating and tossing vegetables halfway through. Let cool, THEN remove skins. They come off easily. ;)

Transfer vegetables to a medium saucepan; heat over medium. Pour in 2 cups stock; puree with an immersion blender until smooth (or if you don't have a gismo like that, whiz it up in the blender). Add the remaining 2 cups stock and puree until smooth. Bring soup to a simmer. Season or garnish as desired.

I think it tastes AMAZING. (Better than it looks.) I hope I can find time to make this deliciousness again.