A recipe for a pretty Gingered Pumpkin Bisque had leaped off the page at me as I first surfed my Taste of Home resource. I was glad I now had the fresh puree (after we carved and boiled the aforementioned pumpkin) to cook this delicious soup.
The recipe called for 1/2 cup whipping cream or half-and-half. I recoiled at this and wondered whether the bisque would be just too, too watered down if I made it with only skim milk.
Not to obsess about this at all—the skim milk worked just fine, so I could dine in good conscience. Processing a portion of the well-drained batch in the blender, as the recipe directs, makes the soup thick and rich, so the substitution worked just fine. The recipe (from Taste of Home Thanksgiving Recipe Cards) said this made enough for four servings, but Hubby and I used it as a main course, so in our giant soup mugs we found none left over after the two of us consumed it readily.
This would be a great first course at a sit-down Christmas dinner. Guests would think you were utterly amazing if you tantalized them with a bowl of this special delight.
Gingered Pumpkin Bisque
1/3 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup apple cider or apple juice
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin (or fresh pumpkin puree)
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup (I used the sugar-free variety)
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon pepper
dash ground cloves
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or half-and-half cream (I used skim milk)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
additional whipping cream, optional
fresh thyme sprigs, optional
(I dusted the top with a little cinnamon.)
In a small saucepan sauté the shallots, onion, and ginger in oil until tender. Stir in flour until blended; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Gradually stir in broth and cider. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the pumpkin, maple syrup, thyme, cinnamon, pepper, and cloves. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly. In a blender process soup in batches until soup is smooth. Return all to the pan. Stir in cream and vanilla; heat through (do not boil). Drizzle individual servings with additional cream. If desired garnish with thyme sprigs. Makes 4 servings.