Here is an easy recipe that you and your family will enjoy. If there are leftovers, they are even better the next day! It will also look gorgeous in a soup tureen on your holiday table.
One pound package country-style ground pork sausage (may use other meat, if preferred, such as ground beef or turkey, etc.)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 tsp jarred minced garlic (or two cloves, chopped)
1 TBS Italian seasoning (or 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp thyme. If using fresh herbs, triple that amount)
1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
15 oz. can solid pack pumpkin
one quart chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream (may substitute half and half, if preferred)
1/2 cup sour cream
In a Dutch oven or stock pot, crumble sausage and brown over medium heat. Drain on paper towels when no pink remains.
Return meat to pot, and add chopped onions and mushrooms. Cook for a couple of minutes until onions are translucent, then stir in the garlic and allow to warm for a minute.
Stir in canned pumpkin, cup of water and the quart of broth. Stir until pumpkin is incorporated well.
Simmer for 25 minutes, or transfer to crock pot to warm overnight, if preferred. (House will smell amazing!)
Before serving, add cream and sour cream, stirring into soup. If soup is too thick for your taste, mix in 1/2 cup broth or water.
Pour into soup tureen or other serving vessel and enjoy!
Note: I didn't need to salt this, but please taste at the end and salt if you feel it is needed. Salt content comes from broth and sausage, and that will vary by brand.
Serve topped with croutons and enjoy!
How to make my croutons:
On a cutting board, chop a loaf of French or Italian bread into cubes and place in mixing bowl.
Drizzle with generous amount of olive oil. Sprinkle all with a little salt, some cracked pepper and red pepper flakes.
Toss to coat all bread pieces, and spread out on cookie sheet in a single layer.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes until toasted and lightly browned.
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