By Chef John Ash
Perfect for the Thanksgiving (or harvest) table, this seasonal soup showcases pumpkin along with another fall favorite – – wild mushrooms. Serve with a glass of the Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Chardonnay.
Total Time 45 minutes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Difficulty Level Medium
2 c sliced onion
1 c sliced leeks, white end only
2 tbsp thinly sliced garlic (3 large cloves)
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed well and soaked in 1 cup warm water
2-1/2 lb fresh pumpkin or butternut squad, peeled and diced
1 tbsp honey, or to taste
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 c chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 c milk
3/4 c heavy cream
Freshly ground white pepper
3 tbsp dry sherry (fino or amontillado), or to taste
1 lb fresh wild mushrooms such as Chanterelle or Oyster, sautéed in butter
Chopped fresh chives as garnish
Over moderate heat, sauté the onions, leeks and garlic in butter until soft and lightly brown. Drain porcini, reserving soaking water, and chop. Add to onion mixture and sauté 3-4 minutes longer.
Add pumpkin, honey, sage, cloves, lemon, stock, and reserved soaking water and simmer for 25 minutes or until pumpkin is soft. Carefully puree mixture in a food processor or blender. With the latter you may have to do in batches.
Return to pan and add milk, cream and season to your taste with salt, pepper, additional lemon juice and honey.
Bring to the simmer and add sherry just before serving. Ladle into warm soup bowls and top with sautéed fresh wild mushrooms and a sprinkling of chives.