Whether you crave a bowl of hot soup on a wintry day or you have decided to include soup on your holiday table, this warming, beautiful and festive pumpkin soup will satisfy your need.

Recipe adapted from: Florence Fabricant, The New York Times, by Rachel Alves, local dietitian

Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 dried ancho chile, stemmed, seeded and torn in small strips or red pepper flakes, to taste

1 apple (such as honeycrisp, macoun or McIntosh), cut in half, cored and diced

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 15 ounce cans pumpkin (not pie filling)

4 cups vegetable stock

1 cup water

Salt to taste

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup Mexican crema (Can use crème fraîche, mascarpone or sour cream)

1/2 cup roasted and salted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a medium Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is golden, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and chile pieces (or red pepper flakes) and cook a minute or two. Add the apple, cinnamon, salt, black pepper and pumpkin.

Sir in vegetable stock and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Purée the soup in a food processor, a blender or with an immersion blender to your desired texture.  (You will likely need to blend in two batches.)  Return the soup to saucepan and season with salt and sugar to taste.

Serve with a dollop of crema and a sprinkling of pepitas on top.

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