16 ounces canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
10 cups chicken stock
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg, freshly grated, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Sugar, to taste
2 cups half-and-half
Curry powder (optional)
Toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)
Sauté the celery and onion in the butter until tender, but not brown.
Simmer the tapioca in 2 cups of the chicken stock until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir this regularly while cooking. Set aside.
Method A: If using an immersion blender: Place the pumpkin into a 6 quart soup pot. Add the celery and onion along with a bit of the chicken stock and puree until smooth
Method B: If using a blender: Blend the celery and onion with 1 cup of the stock until smooth. Add this to the pumpkin into a 6 quart soup pot.
Into the kettle with the pumpkin, celery and onion, add all the remaining chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Be careful that you do not burn this soup.
Add the tapioca, nutmeg, salt, pepper and sugar, all to taste.
If using curry powder, this is the time to add to the pot.
When hot and ready to serve, add the half-and-half and correct the seasoning.
This is spectacular when served in a scooped out pumpkin, using it as your soup tureen.
NOTE: if you want to use fresh pumpkin, use 2 ½ pounds fresh pumpkin, cleaned and peeled. Cut into large pieces and steam until tender, about 45 minutes. Or, you can bake the pieces until tender.