2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 leek, trimmed, thinly sliced 2 shallots, finely sliced 2 pounds pumpkin, peeled,seeded, in 2-inch pieces (or use butternutsquash) 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks 3 carrots, peeled, in small pieces 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock Fresh thyme sprigs 1/2 cup half-and-half Salt, freshly ground pepper 6 fresh sage leaves 6 fresh thyme sprigs 1/2 cup sour cream

In heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions, leeks, and shallots. Saute until tender but not brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add pumpkin (or squash), pears, and carrots, and saute until pumpkin softens. Add stock and a few thyme sprigs. Cover; simmer 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Remove thyme and discard. Puree soup in food processor. Return to pot, add half-and-half. Season to taste and heat 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls or gilded, hollowed-out pumpkins. Garnish with sage leaves, thyme sprigs, and sour cream.

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