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Pumpkin Soup with Gruyere cheese

Seeds and scrapings from the pumpkin or squash
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, plus some leaves, chopped into small pieces
1 turnip, peeled and diced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried sage leaves or 5-6 fresh sage leaves
4 parsley branches
3 thyme branches
1/2 tsp salt
8 cups cold water

Cut pumpkin or squash in half and scrape out all the seeds and
stringy material with a large metal spoon. Put them in a pot with
remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, simmer for 25 minutes, and
then strain.

1 pumpkin or squash, weighing about 2.5 pounds, halved and scooped out
3 Tbs butter
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 tsp salt
6-7 cups stock
1/2 to 1 cup light cream
white pepper
3 oz Gruyere cheese, finely grated
Thyme leaves, finely chopped, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake the pumpkin halves, skin up, on a
lightly oiled baking sheet until the skin is wrinkled and the flesh
is soft, about an hour. Remove them from the oven, and when cool
enough to handle, peel off the skin. Reserve and carmelized juices
that may collect in the pan.

Melt butter in a soup pot, add the onion, and cook over medium heat
fo about 5 minutes. Add the cooked pumpkin, the juices, if any,
the salt, and about 6 cups of the stock. Bring to a boil; then
simmer, covered, for 25 minutes.

Pass the soup through a food mill, which will smooth it out while
leaving some texture. Return the soup to the pot and add the cream
and more stock, if necessary to thin it.

Taste for salt and seasoning. Add Freshly ground white pepper.
Stir in the grated cheese and serve the soup with some thyme leave
scattered over it.


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