PUMPKIN AND CARAMELIZED APPLE SOUP
6-8 servings
1 Hokkaido pumpkin, medium size
½ celeriac, size
of the fist

1 carrot
1 parsnip or parsley root
2 apples
1 piece of ginger, the size of 1 inch
laurel leaf
5 seeds of allspice
4 sprigs thyme
salt and pepper
8 glasses of water
2 apples
1 tbs butter
salt and pepper
fresh herbs
black cumin or
black sesame seeds

canola oil
I believe almost everybody loses interest in the pumpkin right after Thanksgiving. I personally am kind of tired with it. It is even hard to come by these days. Besides it is time to move on and get ready for Xmas. I have already started my beets to get fermented for the borscht. It is time to bakegingerbread, poppy seed strudels, panforte (my own tradition). What will interest us most these days is the sauerkraut, porcini mushrooms, pierogies and all the Holidays delicacies. However, if you are not tired with the pumpkin, here is probably the ultimate pumpkin soup ever  – pumpkin soup with caramelized apples. Redolent of celery and ginger, a little bit sharp, slightly winey and sweet and caramely from the apples sautéed in the beurre noisette. Well, I believe this is some good-bye.
Enjoy!
Lilia, xoxo

Cut the pumpkin into large chunks. Put the pumpkin on the baking tray, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F  for about 30 minutes or until brown at the edges. Clean the celery, carrot and parsnip, chop roughly and put them in a big pot, add 8 cups of water. Add the ginger and salt and pepper and cook over the low heat. Once the pumpkin is roasted add it to the pot with the soup together with the apples cut into chunks, the bay leaf, allspice and thyme, and cook on a low heat for approx. 20 minutes or until the vegetables start to fall apart. Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool down a little and blend it with a hand held blender until smooth. Pass the soup through a strainer or tamis to get rid of impurities. Check the taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Cut the apples into ¼ inch size. Melt the butter in a frying pan, heat it until it starts to turn golden and add the apples. Caramelize the apples in the butter until soft and sweet. Serve the soup in a hollowed out pumpkin (roasted in the 375F oven, for half an hour) topped with 2 tablespoons of caramelized apples, with herbs, seeds and drizzled with some canola oil.

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