A pumpkin patch in the home garden is a project the entire family will enjoy. Pumpkins are easy to grow and provide the cook with a variety of possibilities for fall menus. New pumpkin growers sometimes have difficulty determining when the pumpkin is ripe. Growers at Pumpkin Nook suggest measuring the pumpkin daily to determine when it has stopped growing. When it’s ripe, cut the pumpkin from the vine with a sharp knife, then use it to prepare a tasty pumpkin soup with lime garnish.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Arrange the pumpkin, cut side up, in the bottom of a shallow baking pan and bake 45 minutes, or until a fork is easily inserted into the flesh. Allow the pumpkin to cool enough to handle and scoop out the flesh. You should have 6 to 8 cups of pumpkin. Puree the pumpkin pulp in a blender or food processor.
Add the butter to the stockpot and melt it over medium heat until the foam subsides. Add the onions, leeks and carrots and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the thyme and the remaining vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Pour the broth over the vegetables, add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon and nutmeg and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.
Add the maple syrup and cream to the pot and simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Allow the soup to cool for 10 minutes and then pour 1/4 of it into the food processor. Puree the mixture and transfer to a large bowl. Puree the remaining soup, in batches.
Pour the soup back into the stockpot and reheat it over medium-low heat.
Ladle the pumpkin soup into bowls and top each with a dollop of sour cream. Gently lay a lime wedge on top or to the side of the sour cream.