|1 small pumpkin, about 4 ½ pounds|
|1/2 cup chicken stock|
|1 cup heavy cream|
|salt and white pepper to taste|
|ground nutmeg to taste|
| toasted croutons|
For the soup preparation: Slice off the top of the pumpkin as evenly as possible, and scoop out and discard the seeds and stringy fiber. Delicately scoop out pumpkin flesh, being careful not to make a whole in the shell, as this will be used as a vessel to serve the soup. Cut the pumpkin flesh into cubes and place in a steamer basket over simmering water. Steam for about 20 minutes, or until fork-tender.
Place the chicken stock in a saucepan and warm over medium heat. Transfer the steamed pumpkin to the bowl of a food processor and process to a puree, adding the hot stock little by little. Place the mixture into a medium saucepan, add the heavy cream and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt, pepper and grated nutmeg. Bring to a boil over medium heat and let simmer gently for 7 minutes.
Pour the soup into the scooped out pumpkin shell. Sprinkle with the croutons and serve family style.
Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Olivier Senoussaoui, Loews Annapolis Hotel, Annapolis, MD