In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and pumpkin, and saute until soft, without letting vegetables brown. Add honey and continue to cook until it caramelizes. Add chicken stock and let simmer for 10 minutes. Puree mixture in a food processor or blender, in batches as necessary. (See note.)
In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add scallops, in batches if necessary, and sear until golden brown on 1 side, turn, and continue cooking until just cooked through in the middle.
Place 4 scallops, seared side up, in the bottom of 4 deep bowls. Pour the pumpkin broth into the bowl. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts over top. Drizzle with hazelnut oil and garnish with chopped chives.
Cook's note: When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Craig Hopson, Ritz Carlton, Philadelphia, PA