Pumpkin & Crab Soup

Sanjiv Singh
I have improvised on a recipe by Craig Claiborne to come up with this one. It has gotten rave reviews each time. Great thanksgiving soup.
Serves 6-8.

Small pumpkin approx 3 lbs (or substitute with 24 oz. can of pumpkin)
6 cups chicken stock
1 large onion, sliced
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 /2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil or dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 lb. crab meat cut up in 1/2 inch pieces (imitation crab meat works fine too)
4 oz. heavy cream (optional)
freshly ground pepper to taste

If you are using fresh pumpkin, cut it up in pieces leaving the skin on and bake on a cookie sheet in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 F. Remove the flesh from the skin and keep on hand. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onion. Saute for 5-8 minutes. Add the cumin, nutmeg, paprika, cayenne, and basil or dill. Stir for a minute. Pour in the chicken stock and add pumpkin. Simmer covered for 15-20 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender in batches. Return soup to pot. Add the crab meat and simmer the soup for 3-5 minutes. Add cream and stir. Serve with freshly ground pepper to taste.

From the Dinner Co-op