Orange, Thyme & Pumpkin Soup

2 T. olive oil
2 med. onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
7 c. diced pumpkin
6 ¼ c. boiling vegetable or chicken stock
Finely grated rind and juice of one orange
3 T. fresh thyme, stalks removed
2/3 c. milk

Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add the onions to the pan and sauté for 3 or 4 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and pumpkin and cook for 2 minutes, stirring well. Add vegetable or chicken stock, orange rind and juice and 2 T. thyme. Simmer, covered for 20 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Place the mixture in a food processor and blend until smooth. Alternatively, mash the mixture with a potato masher until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the soup to the saucepan and add the milk. Reheat the soup for 3-4 mins. or until it is piping hot, but NOT boiling.

Sprinkle with the remaining fresh thyme, just before serving. Soup freezes for up to 3 months. Serve soup with fresh crusty bread.

Carol Eggers
Front Royal