Servings: 4 Servings
For the pumpkin soup:
1 whole star anise
3 whole black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, cut into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium leek (white and pale green parts only), thoroughly washed and diced
2 (15-ounce) cans solid-pack pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
For the Curried Pepita Streusel:
6 Tbs all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 tsp curry powder
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup untoasted, unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), coarsely chopped
For the whipped crema:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup Mexican Crema (or substitute crème fraiche)
Make the pumpkin soup:
Wrap the star anise, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, and fresh ginger in cheesecloth and secure with kitchen string.
In a large heavy pot over moderate heat, melt the butter. Add the onions, garlic, celery, and leeks and sauté until translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the pumpkin, 5 cups water, and the spice package and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer uncovered until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Remove and discard the spice package. Working in small batches, ladle the soup into a blender and purée until smooth. Transfer to a clean large pot then sprinkle with nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
Make the pepita streusel:
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, curry powder, and salt. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add the pepitas and toss to combine. Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the streusel to a rack to cool, then break it into roughly 1-inch pieces.
Make the whipped crema:
In a medium bowl, combine the heavy cream and crema. Whisk until light and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the warm soup into bowls and garnish with the streusel, and dollops of whipped crema.