Roasted-garlic pumpkin bisque with herb potato dumplings


This bisque is perfection.  The roasted garlic adds a wholeness of earthy flavor in this creamy and luscious soup.  It is smooth and flavorful on its own, but the herb potato dumplings pack a punch of herbs and texture for those who aren’t satisfied with the simple pumpkin base.

The dumplings and are plump and soft.  They melt in your mouth releasing the flavor of the herbs to add flavor to the soup.  This recipe was a bit time intensive, but completely worth it; I had leftovers for days.

This recipe is from a book featuring restaurants in the Northwest, The Northwest Best Places Cookbook.  This recipe in particular is from Inn at Ludlow Bay in Port Ludlow, Washington.  Because not all pumpkins are for eating, look for a cooking pumpkin in your produce section.  If you can’t find one, Hubbard or acorn squash make good substitues.

Makes 4-6 servings:

For the soup:

  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh pumpkin, peeled and seeded
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons packs brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Creme fraiche or sour cream for serving

For the dumplings:

  • 2 medium russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup chopped mixed herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chives, thyme, and oregano
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (more if needed)

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Discard the loose skin from the garlic head and wrap it in a piece of foil.  Roast the garlic in the oven until tender, about 30 minutes.  At the same time, bake the potatoes for the dumplings until tender, about 50 minutes.

    While the garlic and potatoes are baking, cut the pumpkin into large chunks and put it in a large pot with the chicken stock and onion.  Bring to a boil and simmer until the pumpkin is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.


    Unwrap the garlic and let cool slightly, then peel the individual cloves.  Lightly mash the garlic with a fork in a small bowl (you should have about two tablespoons); set aside.

    Working in batches, puree the pumpkin mixture in a food processor or blender and return it to the pot.  If you have a hand blender, you can blend it in the pot.  Stir in the cream, roasted garlic, brown sugar, and nutmeg, with salt and pepper to taste.  Keep warm over very low heat while making the dumplings.

    Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.

    Halve the baked potatoes and peel away all the brown skin.  Mash the potatoes.  Stir in the egg yolks and herbs, along with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Stir in the flour, a little at a time, until a firm dough is formed.


    Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll it into a cylinder about 3/4 inch in diameter.  Cut the cylinder into 1-inch slices to form the dumplings.  Cook the dumplings in batches in the boiling water untl they are tender and float to the surface, about 2 to 4 minutes.  Scoop out wiht a slotted spoon and drain well.


    To serve, ladle the pumpkin bisque into individual bowls and add the potato dumplings to the center of each bowl.  Plop a small spoon of creme fraiche or sour cream over the soup and serve.



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