Cream of pumpkin soup topped with curried pecans

    serves 4

    Creamy and delicious with a delightful crunch of nuts, this sweet and spicy soup is a great way to begin an autumn meal.
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

    ¼ cup chopped onions

    2 tablespoons curry powder

    1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

    2 cups vegetable broth (page 15)

    2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    ¼ cup pecan pieces

    1 (14-ounce) can light unsweetened

    coconut milk

    Preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions. Cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the curry powder and the pumpkin puree, then whisk in the broth until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

    While the soup is simmering, make the curried pecans. In a small bowl, combine the pecan pieces with the remaining tablespoon of maple syrup and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon curry powder, tossing to coat. Place the pecans in a small baking dish and bake until toasted, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
    Meanwhile, use an immersion blender to puree the soup right in the pot. Otherwise, transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Stir back into the pot. Return the soup to the stove top, turning the heat to low. Whisk in the coconut milk and taste and adjust the seasonings. Heat until hot; do not boil. Serve the soup garnished with the pecans.