Mesa Grill's Pumpkin Soup with Mexican Cinnamon Creme Fraiche and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds with Spinach, Pear and Pancetta Salad

  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 stocks celery, coarsely chopped

7 cups vegetable stock, or water

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (not flavored pie filling)

1/4 teaspoon ground Mexican cinnamon, plus 1 teaspoon (canella)

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons chipotle puree

3/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Garnish:

1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Spinach, Pear and Pancetta Salad:

4 ounces pancetta, medium dice

1 small shallot, minced

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

10 ounces fresh spinach leaves

2 Bosc pears, halved, cored and thinly sliced

1 small red onion, finely sliced

Directions

  1. Heat the butter in a medium stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery and cook until soft. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain the stock into a clean medium saucepan and whisk in the pumpkin puree until smooth. Bring to a simmer and add the 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, spices, honey and chipotle. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Add water, if the soup is too thick. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1/4 cup of the creme fraiche and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix together the remaining creme fraiche and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon until combined. Divide the soup among 4 bowls and garnish with the cinnamon creme fraiche and a handful of pumpkin seeds.
  2. For the Spinach, Pear and Pancetta Salad: Saute pancetta in skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Pour all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings out. Add shallots and cook until soft. Add vinegar, mustard and thyme; whisk to blend. Add oil and whisk to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm. Combine spinach, pears, red onion and pancetta in a large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat.