At this time of year, there's always a bountiful supply of pumpkins, squashes and fall fruit. I decided to incorporate them together after having tried a fruity soup at a wonderful little bed and breakfast that wasn't savory enough. After playing around with the flavors, this recipe is the one that makes it to our family's Thanksgiving table. Its complex flavor has all the elements of a crisp, fall day. It's a creamy soup that's healthy, full of fruits and vegetables and there's no cream in sight. Enjoy! —Louise Basnett
Peel and chop the pumpkin or squash. Heat the oil in large pot over medium heat and add vegetables, including pumpkin. Then add the apples and cranberries, stirring often. After a couple of minutes, add the seasoning, stock, and juice (if you use it) and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and cook until vegetables are tender. Puree in a blender, or use a blender stick to make a creamy puree. Put back on the stove to heat. If the soup is too thick, thin down with a little more stock or white wine. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. You can serve it with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.