Spiced Pumpkin Bisque
For homemade crème fraîche: In a screw-top jar, combine whipping cream and buttermilk. Cover and shake well. Let stand at room temperature for 2 to 5 hours or until thickened. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. (Or use purchased crème fraîche, available in large supermarkets.)Advertisement
For soup: In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook in hot butter until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add curry powder, cayenne, salt and coriander. Cook and stir for 5 minutes more. Add chicken broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes.
Stir pumpkin and half-and-half into the onion mixture. Cook, uncovered, over medium to medium-low heat about 10 minutes or until heated through. (Do not boil). Remove from heat; cool mixture slightly.
Using a handheld immersion blender, blend soup mixture until nearly smooth; heat through before serving. (Or let soup cool slightly. Transfer mixture, one-third at a time, to a blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; heat through for serving.)
To serve, ladle the hot soup into warm soup bowls. Top each serving with crème fraîche and fresh parsley. Serve immediately.
If you like, serve the bisque in roasted pumpkins. Wash and dry small pie pumpkins. Cut off tops and place on a large cookie sheet. Roast in a 375° oven for 40 minutes. Fill with soup and garnish.
For restaurant-style drizzles, put the crème fraîche into a squeeze bottle (like the kind used for ketchup). Just before serving, draw a zig-zag drizzle, a spiral or even the outline of a pumpkin on the top of your soup for an artistic garnish.