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Grandma's Pumpkin Soup

1 Tbs    vegetable oil  
1   onion, roughly chopped  
1   garlic clove, crushed  
1 tsp    cumin  
1 Tbs    tomato paste  
2 lbs    pumpkin, cut into 1" cubes (not halloween type - butternut squash works)  
1 liter    water (4.2 cups) or stock  
1 tsp    salt  
1/4 tsp    pepper  
1 Heat the oil in a large pot, add onion and sweat gently over low heat until clear. Add the pumpkin and continue cooking gently for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2 Add the cumin, garlic, tomato paste, water/stock, salt and pepper.
3 Bring to the boil and simmer gently till the pumpkin is soft - about 20 mins. Puree in small batches or push thru a sieve. Return tot he pot and reheat.
4 Taste for seasoning and adjust the thickness of the soup to your taste = adding water or stock if required.
5 Serve with a dollop of sour cream to swirl through as you eat.
Servings: 6
Yield: 6 serves
 Recipe Source

Source: Ruth White

There are many variations on the theme:

You can replace some of the pumpkin with a carrot, add a potato, use a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon instead of the cumin, leave out the tomato paste.

You can make a similar soup with sweet potato, seasoned with nutmeg or entirely of carrot, with the grated rind and the juice of an orange along with water or stock. Parsnip recipes often get sprinkled with bacon bits when you are serving. I've never tried a turnip soup - so feel free!

Potato soup usually has a chopped leek sweated in along with the onion, and my have cream stirred in just before serving, and a sprinkle of chopped chives or parsley.