Pumpkin Soup with Spiced Pumpernickel Croutons
- 2 cups pumpernickel bread torn
- ¼ cup canola or neutral flavoured oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp salt
- pinch pepper
- pinch chili flakes (optional)
- 1-2 pears
- 1 small pumpkin
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger diced
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- ½ cup heavy cream (optional)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- Tear small pieces of pumpernickel from a loaf and place into a small mixing bowl.
- In another small bow, add all the other ingredients and mix well.
- Drizzle the spiced oil over the pieces of bread and mix gently.
- Place the seasoned bread onto a lined baking sheet and bake in a low temperature oven (200F) or in your dehydrator until the bread has lost all of its moisture.
- Wash and thinly slice the pears. Lay the slices on the rack of your dehydrator for approximately eight hours at 55C
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Wash a small pumpkin, cut it in half and remove the seeds. Sprinkle the inside of each half with salt and place cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the pumpkin feels soft and the skin has coloured. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Peel the skin from the pumpkin and set aside 3 cups of flesh.
- In a pot over medium heat, warm the canola oil, then add the onion. Cook until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant and the onions start to colour. Add the pumpkin and the stock. Bring to a boil then turn off the heat. Add the contents of the pot to a high speed blender (such as a Vitamix) with the honey, salt, pepper and cream.
- Blend the smooth until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and warm on the stove, if necessary.
- Serve the soup topped with pumpernickel croutons and dried pear slices.
Roast the seeds of the pumpkin to sprinkle on top as a garnish.