Pumpkin Soup
Chop and saute in olive oil:
2-3 large leeks
After they have lightly browned, add:
2-3 carrots, cut into chunks
1 qt chicken stock
 
Simmer until the carrots are soft.  Transfer the solid contents to a blender and puree, using some of the liquid, until very smooth.  With the rest of the liquid, puree:
2 c pumpkin, preferably fresh-baked
 
Pour the pureed soup into a thick-bottomed pot.  Puree:
3-5 inches fresh ginger root
1/3 c sherry
until the ginger is smooth and not stringy.  Add some of the soup if you need more liquid.
 
Stir the ginger puree into the soup a bit at a time to get the right level of ginger.  It should be on the strong side.  Add:
salt, to taste
white pepper, to taste
 
Simmer on the lowest heat until ready to serve.  Garnish bowls of soup with a little creme fraiche or sour cream, or some toasted chopped pecans, and/or a spring of cilantro.
Notes & Variations:
  1. This is a very hearty and tangy soup, which can be served as a main dish or in small bowls as a soup course.  It's fun to serve it inside a hollowed out fresh pumpkin that has been oiled and baked for 15 minutes.
  2. Add more stock, if necessary, to get the consistency you want.  For a vegan soup, use water and/or white wine.
  3. For a creamier soup, stir in a cup of 1/2 and 1/2 as it is heating.
  4. Instead of ginger, try adding an apple, some orange zest, some sweet spices and/or curry, a little dried chili flakes.