1. In a large soup pot, pour the oil and put over medium heat, add onions and cook until soft.
2. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add the other spices, and stir together.
3. Pour in the wine, and stir, cooking for 1 minute.
4. Add the pumpkin puree and broth, stir and cook until heated through, about 4 or 5 minutes.
5. To make soup smooth, remove from heat and let cool slightly, then pour into food processor. Blend until smooth, then return to pot. (Or use a stick blender if you have one.)
6. Put soup pot on low heat and bring back up to hot, but do not boil.
7. Remove from heat and pour in half-and-half, stir, and taste for salt and other seasonings and add more if desired. You may also add a touch of sugar if you like to bring up the sweetness level.
8. Cover and let stand 5 minutes so flavors blend well. Serve warm in small bowls with garnishes of roasted pumpkin seeds, crispy bacon crumbles, a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, and chives or parsley.
I can hardly believe how a cheap can of pumpkin puree can become such a beautiful soup. This recipe is so simple and so tasty. It has just the right blend of sweet and savory to make the soup special.
Keep in mind when making this soup that it is very rich and should be served in small portions, not large bowls. If you want this soup to be a filling meal, add crusty bread and a salad instead of increasing the serving size too much.
You can easily double or triple this recipe for a larger crowd. I highly recommend getting a stick blender if you plan on making a big batch or making this soup often. It's so much handier than transferring hot soup to the food processor. You can find stick blenders for reasonable prices now.