La Soupe au Potiron (Pumpkin Soup in a Pumpkin)

1 7-lb rouge vif d'Etampes, or Cinderella pumpkin
7 Tbsp. butter
1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 C fresh white bread crumbs, toasted
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground sage
1/2 C grated Swiss cheese
4 C vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1/2 C heavy cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cut a 4" lid out of the pumpkin.  Remove and discard
seeds and string.  Rub inside of pumpkin with 1 Tbsp. salted butter, season
with salt, and place on a baking pan.

Melt remaining butter in a skillet over low heat.  Add onions and cook until
soft, about 10 minutes.  Stir in bread crumbs and cook for 2 minutes.  Add
nutmeg and sage, and season generously with salt and pepper.  Remove from
heat, stir in cheese, and spoon mixture into pumpkin.  Add enough stock to
fill pumpkin to within 1/2" of the rim.  Put bay leaves on top, and then
replace pumpkin lid.

Bake until pumpkin begins to soften and brown on the outside and the stock
bubbles inside, about 1 1/2 hours.  Remove from oven and transfer to a serving
platter.  Scrape flesh from bottom and sides of pumpkin with a spoon.
Just before serving, stir in heavy cream if desired.

(From Saveur, November 1998, page 136)

Ken Shirriff:
This page: Copyright 1998 Ken Shirriff