Every Halloween I make this delicious soup when I want to begin the meal with a harvest flavour. It can be served many different ways, but in my mind, it looks just wonderful in a Armetale or other pewter type bowl or even a large hollowed out pumpkin that has been gilded with edible silver or gold leaf. It's a very easy trick, and you can find the edible leaf along with the directions for it's application at Sur La Table or any other fine cooking store.
My recipe is actually very simple and the ingredients are readily available especially this time of year. I'll make no claims here that this is health food though...forget your diet for just one evening!
Take a chunk of really good butter and melt it in your cauldron. Add several chopped spanish onions and a shallot or two! Saute the onions until they are translucent and add 3 large cans of cooked pumpkin and several quarts of really good chicken stock. Bring the whole of it to a simmer and let the flavours brew! The magical ingredient here is...PEANUT BUTTER!!!!!! I whisk in a cup of it or even more depending on the taste. After it has simmered for about 20 minutes, stir in a quart of organic half and half. I always use organic milk or cream if possible because I've discovered that the texture is much finer and the taste is just much better. Add salt and pepper to taste and about a tablespoon of good curry powder or pumpkin pie spice if you like it! You can also add a 1/4 of a cup of Calvado's if you'd like. I've also made this soup with butternut squash and acorn squash, halved and roasted with butter,olive oil,cinnamon and a bit of real maple syrup. I usually roast about 4 large squash to get the amount of pulp that I need. The canned squash just doesn't seem to have the nutty flavour that the roasted does and the texture is exquisite. this will take some extra time, but I promise you that it's worth it. A bloody red glass of wine and a bit of moldy cheese while you're waiting should make the task really bearable, let alone the aroma of the roasting squash!
This soup will stand alone as a meal with a tossed salad with some ripe pear,pecans and warm camembert cheese or as a starter for any beautifully roasted meat. A Black and Tan (that delectable combination of Guinness Stout and Bass Pale Ale) or some good sparkling apple cider would be very satisfying as well.