Pumpkin + 5 spice powder* = magic!
Oh, and Elyse says that this works just as well if you replace the 5-spice with curry.
The vegan version is also delicious – substitute veggie stock for chicken stock and coconut milk for half-and-half.
– 2 15-ounce cans of pumpkin (note: not pumpkin pie filling)
– 4 cups chicken stock
– 1 cup of half-and-half
– 3/4 cup maple syrup
– 2 garlic cloves (if you don’t have time to chop and sauté in a little olive oil, then use a garlic press)
– 3 tablespoons butter
– 3/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
– 3/4 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
Blend together pumpkin, stock, and garlic over medium high heat in a large saucepan (try using a handy-dandy immersion blender if you have one). Simmer. Whisk in half-and-half, syrup, butter, 5 spice powder, and cardamom (adjust spices and sweetness to taste). Sprinkle with a little sea salt and black pepper. Pour into serving bowls. Swirl a little crème fraîche in each bowl and serve with a chilled chardonnay or an earthy Oregon Pinot Noir (Domaine Serene, anyone?)
Roasted pumpkin seeds or butter-sautéed shiitake mushrooms make great garnish if you have more than 5 minutes.
*Chinese 5 spice powder is different from pumpkin pie spice or allspice — It contains cinnamon, clove, ginger, fennel, anise, and yum (the 6th spice)