The best pumpkin maple soup ever

Nothing says fall like soup and pumpkins. So good thing that Nissa Pierson at Ger-Nis Culinary and Herb Center in Park Slope has offered us her pumpkin maple soup recipe.

Pumpkin maple soup with autumn spiced pumpkin seeds

(Nissa Pierson, Ger-Nis Culinary and Herb Center)

Serves eight

2 tbls. butter

2 large carrots, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 (two-pound) pumpkin, peeled, seeded and chopped (about six cups)

6 cups vegetable broth

3 whole star anise

2 tsps. cinnamon

1 tsps. allspice

1/2 tsp. grated fresh nutmeg

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup maple syrup

Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onion, sauté until tender, about eight minutes. Add pumpkin, vegetable broth, star anise, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Cover and simmer until pumpkin is very tender, about 25 minutes. Discard Star anise. Purée soup in batches in blender and return back to Dutch oven. Stir in cream and maple and bring soup back to simmer.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

(Can be made one day ahead. Chill. Bring to simmer before serving, thin with more stock, if desired.)

Autumn Spiced Pumpkin Seeds, for garnish

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss pumpkin seeds with butter and spices and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and toasted. Let cool.

To learn how to make recipes like this one and cooking techniques, check out the Ger-Nis Culinary and Herb Center [540 President St. at Fourth Avenue in Park Slope, (347) 422-0337], For info, visit www.culinaryherbcenter.ger-nis.com.