Pumpkin has a sweet smoky flavor brought out by roasting. As the water in the pumpkin evaporates during the roasting process, the flavors intensify. The presentation of this soup is stunning since it's served in the roasted pumpkin. Accompany the soup with a loaf of pumpernickel bread, fresh butter and a crisp salad of apples, pears, butter lettuce and honey Dijon mustard dressing and the soup turns into a meal.
Scrub the pumpkin and sweet potatoes. Cut the top off the pumpkin and remove all the seeds and stringy stuff inside. Save the seeds to use as a garnish for the soup. Rinse and dry the seeds. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Lay the seeds in a single layer and bake at 350 degrees until toasty, about 15 minutes. Salt lightly.
Put the pumpkin and potatoes in a roasting pan that is attractive enough to be brought to the table.
Whisk the cream and vegetable broth together. Add in the thyme leaves. Grate the cheese. Reserve 1/2 cup for garnishing. Add to the cream and broth.
Fill the pumpkin with the cream and cheese mixture. It should only fill the pumpkin half way to two thirds. Cover the top with foil. Replace the top of the pumpkin. Roast at 350 degrees until the pumpkin is soft and can be pierced with a fork, about two hours. Pierce the pumpkin near the top above the filling.
Remove the sweet potatoes after 45 minutes. They should be soft and baked by then. Scrape the flesh out of the sweet potatoes and mash. Add the mash to the cream and cheese mixture.
Remove the filled pumpkin from the oven and bring it to the table. Serve by using a metal spoon to gently scrape the cooked pumpkin flesh off the shell and mix it with the sweet potato cream and cheese filling. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with the toasted pumpkin seeds and a sprinkling of cheese.