I like to cook things that might intimidate some cooks. Take the Galeux D'Eysines pumpkin. You might find this sold as a "decorative" pumpkin under the harsh name of "Uncle Fester Pumpkin." It's salmon-colored and covered with tan, um, "warts." Looks are deceiving. This is one of the most delicious edible pumpkins in the world. When we cut into it, the kiddo's first remark was, "It smells like a peach!" And it did, the squash flesh was a yellow-orange with a fruity aroma somewhere between peach, hazelnut and that characteristic winter squash earthiness. Paired with fresh herbs and just a touch of butter and half and half for the finish, this makes a beautiful, subtly complex fall soup. —BethatCleanerPlate
First, get a sharp knife. Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds. Cut the halves into manageable chunks, then cut away the outer rind. Dice the flesh into 1-inch cubes. It's really not so hard if you have a good chef's knife.
Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot, medium heat. Add the leeks, onion and herbs and sweat the aromatics until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin cubes and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 20-30 minutes.
Puree using an immersion blender. Swirl in the butter and the half and half. Add the nutmeg, then taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Use the sugar if you like a slight sweetness to your soups.