For soup, almost any variety of pumpkin will do just fine—except for the common field pumpkin, or jack-o-lantern. The best ones, however, are small, sweet pumpkins like the green-and-white delicata. Butternut squash may be used as a substitute.
- 1 small (about 5 lbs.) pie pumpkin
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 4-6 cups chicken stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 9 shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 18 fresh sage leaves
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 350°. Quarter and seed pumpkin. Rub flesh with olive oil, and bake on a baking sheet for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Melt 4 tbsp. of the butter in a heavy stockpot over medium heat. Cook onions and garlic in butter until translucent about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, scrape flesh from pumpkin and add to onions. Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add 4 cups chicken stock to pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Purée soup in a food processor until smooth, then return to pot.
- Melt remaining 2 tbsp. butter in a small pan over medium heat, and cook shallots until golden and tender, about 15 minutes.
- Fry sage leaves in vegetable oil until crisp. Drain on paper towels, then garnish each serving with 3 shallot halves and 3 sage leaves.