1 tablespoon peanut oil1/3 cup finely chopped onions1/3 cup finely chopped celery1 teaspoon fresh thyme1 bay leaf1 medium size pumpkin (about 3 pounds)Salt to tasteFreshly ground black pepper about 1 quart Basic Chicken Stock, or low-sodium canned2 tablespoons Toasted Pumpkin Seeds (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.2. Pierce the pumpkin several times and cook in the microwave on high power for 3 to 5 minutes until the shell softens. Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and reserve them for making the Toasted Pumpkin Seeds. Place the pumpkin halves cut-side down on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes. Let cool. Reserve the juice on the baking sheet.3. Scoop the pulp out of the pumpkin skin with a spoon and set aside.4. Heat the peanut oil in a deep saucepan over low heat. Add the onions, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes.5. Add the pumpkin pulp and the chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat.6. Reduce the heat and simmer until the onion and celery are completely tender, about 15 minutes.7. After removing the bay leaf, puree the mixture in a blender, in batches, being careful not to overfill the blender.8. Reheat the bisque. Add stock if it is too thick.9. Serve hot, sprinkled with the Toasted Pumpkin Seeds.