I have a gray hair. One gray strand, on my otherwise brown head of hair.
I must be getting old.
It grows in. I pull it out. It grows in again. I pull it out again.
I’m not trying to abolish the nasty offender. I just want to take a closer look. It intrigues me. It’s a shimmery white.
Perhaps I’ll feel differently when that lonely strand of hair starts gathering friends, but for now I’m content to let my hair turn whatever shade of gray, silver, or white it chooses to be.
I’m quite comfortable with my age. I’m as comfortable to be turning 35 as I would be to turn 25. In fact, I might even like 35 better.
I’m comfortable with that gray hair on my head.
I’m comfortable with me (though I’d be even more comfortable with twenty pounds less of me).
Comfort is good. It’s like a warm, cashmere sweater; one that’s three sizes too big so you can snuggle up within its soft embrace. Comfort is molten dark chocolate. It’s a warm, crackling fire. Comfort is this creamy roasted pumpkin caramel bisque. It’s slightly sweet, warm, and smooth. It smells like autumn and feels like a hug. Seriously…a great, big, warm hug.
Roasted Pumpkin Caramel Bisque
- 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
To roast the pumpkins – Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 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″ 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.
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.
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.
Garnish with a drizzle of caramel and pumpkin seeds or top with crunchy croutons.
Makes a huge batch of soup…plenty for freezing!