2 tsp. canola oil
1 cup frozen chopped onion
5 cups (3-14-oz. cans) chicken broth
1 (29 oz.) can solid-pack pumpkin
1 (2½ oz.) pkg. cooked bacon pieces
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. dried thyme
1 cup cream or half-and-half
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. curry powder (optional)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)
1. Add oil to pot and turn heat to high.
2. Add onion and sauté, stirring, until it begins to soften and turn golden, about 10 minutes.
3. Stir in stock, pumpkin, bacon, sugar, and thyme. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-high, and simmer about 5 minutes.
4. Remove soup from heat and add cream, nutmeg, and curry powder, if desired.
5. Puree soup in two or three batches in blender, leaving middle of lid open to avoid pressure buildup of steam. Start on low speed to prevent splashing. Or use an immersion blender.
6. Season with salt and pepper. When serving, spoon a little cheese on top of each bowl of soup. Garnish with pumpkin seeds if desired. Option: Substitute Parmesan cheese for the cheddar topping.