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"I love this soup because it’s my favorite color and the garnishes bump up the fancy factor," Anne says. "It’s also totally seasonal. What could be more autumnal than a pretty pumpkin soup with spiced whipped cream and crispy leeks?"
Swap It: Skip the pumpkin and use a butternut squash instead.
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cut in half lengthwise, washed and thinly sliced
- 1 large or 2 small carrots, cut into ½-inch dice
- 2 celery ribs, cut into ½-inch dice
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
- Kosher salt
- One 2-pound sugar or cheese pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
- 2 cups white wine
- 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 thyme bundle, tied with kitchen twine
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 orange, halved
- Canola or other neutral-flavored oil, for frying
- 1 leek, cut into thin 2-inch matchsticks (washed)
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
For the soup, coat a large, deep pot with olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Add leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic, season with salt, and cook until vegetables start to soften and are aromatic, 8 to 10 minutes. Add pumpkin and potato, season with salt, and cook, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes more. Add wine and reduce by half. Add stock, thyme, and bay leaves, then squeeze orange halves directly into the soup and then add both halves. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 35 to 40 minutes.
Remove and discard the orange halves, thyme bundle, and bay leaves. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup; if using a regular blender, cool soup for about 5 minutes and puree in batches. Thin with water, if needed, and season to taste.
For the fried leeks, line a baking sheet with paper towels and place near the stove.
In a small saucepan, heat an inch of oil over medium heat. Once hot, working in batches, fry the leeks until crisp and brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon and fish spatula to remove the leeks to the paper towel to drain; season with salt.
For the whipped cream, beat the cream and allspice until soft peaks form.
Ladle the soup into bowls, dollop with the whipped cream, and garnish with fried leeks.