By Kimberly Dawn Makes 6 servings 3 large pie pumpkins
1 large white onion, peeled
2 tart apples, peeled and cored
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, plus more if desired
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, plus more if desired
Sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 to 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Maple syrup, to taste (optional) Harvest three large pie pumpkins from your patch or pick them up from a local farmer. Wipe them off with a damp towel and place them, whole, on a baking sheet in your oven or on your grill. (I like to do this on the grill while I'm raking leaves in the yard.) A reasonably high temperature will do, around 450° F or so. Roast until the pumpkins are tender... you should be able to squeeze them! (This will take a couple of hours.) Remove the pumpkins from the heat and let cool. Turn down your oven or grill to 350° F. Leave on just one of the burners on your grill. As the pumpkins cool, roughly chop the onion and apples. In a medium bowl, toss them together with the oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Spread the onion and apples in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in the oven or over the turned-off burners on the grill. Roast until fork tender, probably 20 to 30 minutes. I'd recommend turning the tray around halfway through the cooking time for an even roast. Keep a close eye on the apples since the sugars in them can cause the apples to become burnt. I find this a good time to take a break from raking and pour a glass of wine. Once the pumpkins are cool enough to handle, break them open with your hands. Scoop out the seeds to roast or discard, and then pull the flesh away from the skin. Throw the onions and apples into a blender or food processor and give them a whiz first to break them up. Then add the roasted pumpkin and about 4 cups of the broth. Blend until smooth, and then continue to add broth until you reach the consistency you like. Transfer the soup to a pot and heat it until it just reaches a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add more of the spices, if desired. If you'd prefer it a bit sweeter, add a splash of pure local maple syrup. (Be gentle here... it's easy to over-sweeten!) I like to serve the soup in hefty mugs topped with dry-roasted pumpkin seeds, chopped fresh sage, a spoonful of rich Greek yogurt, or some combination of the above. For a true purist's approach, serve naked!