I must admit, to guarantee consistency I always use canned pumpkin, so I eat this savory soup all year long, but my friends seem to ask for it as soon as September, the first 'ber' month, arrives.
Ingredients:§ 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
§ 1 cup onion, finely chopped
§ 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
§ 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
§ 2 quarts chicken broth
§ 1 cup orzo
§ 3 cups half and half or whole milk
§ 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
§ 2 (15 ounce) cans pumpkin
§ Fresh thyme (optional)
§ Salt and freshly ground pepper
In large saucepan melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in chopped garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and bring to boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir in orzo. Reduce heat and simmer covered, about 15 minutes or until orzo is tender.
In a small bowl, combine half and half (or whole milk) and flour and mix well. Add to simmering soup. Cook while stirring until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in pumpkin. Heat thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, sprinkle each serving with fresh thyme.
This soup takes less than 30 minutes to make and freezes well. Eat it before your meal or as an accompaniment to a sandwich or salad. For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, go to Pumpkin Soup. Enjoy!