Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Cilantro Cream

From Anastasia Davies Hinchsliff

Serves ??

[Ed: This photo may not do much to advance my career as a food stylist, but this soup was very tasty, and the cilantro cream added a lovely cool counterpoint to the chile and cumin. ]

Cilantro cream:

1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup sour cream

Soup:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cup sliced yellow onion (2 medium onions)
1 mild dried chile, such as pasilla or ancho, seeded, deveined and broken into pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 cans chicken broth (14.5 ounces each)
3 corn tortillas, cut into 3/4-inch wide strips
1 can unseasoned pumpkin puree (15-ounce)
salt and ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (optional)

Preparation

In a food processor, combine cilantro, jalapenos, and lime juice and process to a puree. Transfer the puree to a bowl and whisk in sour cream. Cover and refrigerate.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add onions and chiles and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add oregano, garlic, and cumin and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add chicken broth, tortillas, and 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until onions and tortillas are very soft, about 20 minutes.

In a food processor or blender, puree the soup in batches. Return soup to pot and stir in pumpkin puree. Stir over heat until soup is heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

Serve in bowls, garnished with a spoonful of cilantro cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds, if desired.

Yum.

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