Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish

I love this soup. In my opinion the relish makes the soup so you may want to double or even triple the relish. Pumpkin soup by itself was a little bland, but the added spicy relish puts it over-the-top good. I made this soup for a neighborhood progressive dinner and kept it in the crock pot until serving. Both the soup and the relish keep well in the refrigerator.

Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish

Ingredients:
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. butter
1 fresh bay leaf
2 ribs celery with greens, finely chopped
1 med. onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
3 Tbs. flour
2 tsp. ground thyme
2 tsp. hot sauce, or to taste
6 cups chicken stock
1 (28-oz) can cooked pumpkin purée (Or fresh if you have it.)
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Relish:
1 crisp apple, such as McIntosh or Granny Smith, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1/2 cup dried or fresh cranberries, chopped
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions:
Heat a medium pot over medium heat. Add the oil and melt the butter. Add bay, celery, and onion, salt and pepper. Cook until tender. Add flour, thyme and hot sauce, then cook flour a minute. Whisk in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Whisk in pumpkin. Simmer for a few minutes and then add in cream and nutmeg. Reduce heat until ready to serve.

Relish: Combine apple, onion, lemon juice, cranberries, chili powder, honey and cinnamon.

Serve soup in shallow bowls with a few spoonfuls of relish.

Note: I love the cool crunchy relish in the warm soup and I like a bit of relish with every bite, so make extra.

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