2 pie pumpkins (3-4 pounds each) or about 7-8 cups canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Salt (about 3 teaspoons)
1/2 cup prepared caramel sauce/dip
A few dashes of cayenne pepper, to taste
1. To roast the pumpkins – preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the pumpkins in half and scoop out all of the seeds and stringy pulp. Place the pumpkins cut side down on a baking sheet. Fill the baking sheet with about 1/4-inch of water. Bake for about 90 minutes, until tender. Allow to cool, then scoop out the tender insides. You should have about 8 cups of roasted pumpkin. Click HERE to see a photo guide on how to roast pumpkins.
2. To prepare the soup, heat butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the onions and cook for about 10 minutes, until tender and golden. Add the roasted pumpkin (or pumpkin puree) and vegetable stock to the pan.
3. Use an immersion blender to blend the mixture until smooth or transfer the mixture in small batches to a blender or food processor to blend. Return the blended mixture to the saucepan and heat to a simmer. Stir in the half and half, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the salt gradually, to taste. Gradually stir most of the caramel into the soup, reserving a spoonful or two for garnish. (Taste as you go. The soup should be savory and slightly sweet.) Season with a few dashes of cayenne pepper, as desired.
4. Garnish with a drizzle of caramel and pumpkin seeds or top with crunchy croutons.