This recipe is inspired by a soup we had at the Dogfish Head brewery at the end of one late summer trip to Dewey Beach in Delaware. We were so impressed by the soup we spent the rest of the fall trying to figure out the recipe (plus finding different toppings, adding sweet potatoes or squash, and experimenting with different beers). While the additional toppings and autumnal vegetables were very successful, we found that our best soups always used Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. Although we might have reached that conclusion because we enjoyed drinking it so much while we were cooking... —Fancy and Casual
Test Kitchen Notes
You can't get more autumnal than pumpkin soup. Fancy and Casual has put a sophisticated spin on it by adding Punkin Ale to the soup, then mixing in goat cheese, toasted pepitas, and sage oil. The mildly bitter flavor of the Punkin Ale works well with the slightly sweet soup and the creamy, tangy cheese. If the soup seems a little too bitter, a spoonful of sugar can round it out. The pepitas add welcome texture and a nutty flavor, and the sage oil adds a hint of earth and herb. If you're a fan of sage you may want to double the amount used so you can have more than one of the fried leaves in your soup. —hardlikearmour
Preheat your oven to 425° F. Quarter and seed pumpkin. Place on baking tray, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with salt. Roast pumpkin in the oven until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool, then remove the skin.
Heat butter and remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Dice onion and garlic, then sauté until tender.
Add roasted pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon to the pan. Stir to combine flavors, then pour in beer. Increase heat and allow at least half the beer to burn off. Once the beer has burned off, lower the heat and add in vegetable stock. Allow the soup to simmer for 10 to 20 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until it's smooth (if you like a thinner soup, you can add some more vegetable stock). Add salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is a little bitter, add in sugar. Leave soup on a low heat while you prepare the toppings.
In a frying pan, toast the pepitas until they are crunchy and delicious. Remove from pan and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in the frying pan. Once the oil is hot, drop in the sage leaves and fry until they are crispy but still green. Remove pan from the heat.
Cut the goat cheese log into 3/4-inch chunks. Divide the soup into bowls and place a goat cheese chunk in the center. Drizzle the sage oil over the soup and sprinkle the pepitas on top of the cheese. Garnish the dish with a fried sage leaf.