For some reason pumpkin has been pegged as a purely fall food. It is embraced in October and November, but my the time December rolls around everyone has moved onto the next thing and since pumpkin is jam-packed with so many good things this seasonal dismissal makes me a little sad. I, of course, still had a ton of pumpkin puree left over from Thanksgiving and needed to make something with it since we had already had many of the traditional pumpkin foods it was time to pull out all the stops and add chipotle. The soup had such a wonderful smokey flavor and a pleasant heat that the husband even requested the leftovers for lunch.

Chipotle Pumpkin Soup

2 T butter and 2 T. olive oil
1 onion
1 large carrot
3 stalks of celery
3 cloves of garlic
2 boxes of good chicken stock
14 oz pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
3 c. cooked chicken, diced
1/2 c barley
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ginger
1/4 t nutmeg
2-3 T honey*
1-2 t. chipotles chopped very fine
1 c. sour cream
1/4 c. heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil and butter in a large pot and saute the veggies with a little bit of salt until carrots are almost tender. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add chicken stock, pumpkin, chicken, barley, spices, honey and chipotles. Cook at medium to high heat for about 45 minutes to an hour or until barley is tender. Reduce heat to heat to simmer and add sour cream and cream whisking so that no lumps remain. Taste and season as necessary adding more honey if you need to balance the heat of the chipotles.

* I used maple syrup with great results

Source: Adapted from Living in Grace