Coconut Ginger Pumpkin Soup

1 baking pumpkin, around 2 1/2 lb
Cooking oil, preferably avocado
2 shallots (or 1 small onion), sliced
3 cloves of garlic
1 15 oz can of coconut milk
1 heaping tbsp ginger, peeled and grated
3 cups of vegetable stock or water
salt and pepper, to taste
toppings of choice

1. Preheat oven to 400°.  Cut your pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds.  Drizzle both sides with about 1 to 2 tbsp oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place open side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.

2. While the pumpkin cooks, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add in the sliced shallot and whole garlic cloves.  Cook for about 5 minutes and remove from heat and set aside.

3. When pumpkin is done, remove from oven.  Allow to cool and remove skins.  Rough chop the pumpkin.

4. In a blender add the can of coconut milk*, grated ginger, cooked shallots and garlic, 3 cups of vegetable stock or water and the pumpkin.  Blend until a smooth consistency is reached.  CAUTION:  if your ingredients are hot start blending very slowly and/or blend in batches.**

5. Pour soup into the large pot that was used for the shallots and garlic.  Heat over medium until starting to bubble, reduce heat to low.  Cook until warmed through and desired consistency is reached, stirring occasionally.  Add salt and pepper to taste if needed.

6. Ladle into a bowl and serve with your favorite toppings: a swirl of coconut milk, micro greens or parsley, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds if you are feeling extra festive.

Notes: *Reserve a couple spoonfuls if you would like to use as a garnish.  **Be very careful if any of your ingredients are hot.  Hot liquids expand and can send the lid to your blender flying and liquid everywhere.  If your blender is small or you are worried about it being hot, split between multiple batches and stir together in the pot once completed.

Serves 4  |  crystalvaughn.com