I love soups that I can prep in 10 minutes, put in the oven for a couple hours and come back to a warm, hearty meal—especially on a cold fall day. And what better than fresh pumpkin soup now that pie pumpkins are in season and plentiful (about $2.50 each at Whole Foods or local farmer's market).

The key, though, to making this a really flavorful soup is using homemade chicken broth. Most store-bought brands, I have found, are watered down and contain MSG (hidden under yeast extract). You can also add other spices (see tip below to see what herbs complement pumpkin) to make your taste buds happy.

Homemade pumpkin soup

Shopping List (Serves one):
1 small pie pumpkin
3/4-1 cup homemade chicken broth
salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon minced garlic
olive oil
1 bay leaf

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut a circle into the top of the pumpkin to remove top, scoop out seeds and strings. Place pumpkin on a baking sheet. Salt and pepper the inside by rubbing into the flesh. Add 3/4-1 cup of homemade chicken broth, minced garlic and bay leaf to the inside of the pumpkin. Brush the outside of the pumpkin with olive oil. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until inside flesh is soft.

Remove from oven and throw away the bay leaf. Carefully move pumpkin to a bowl or plate. Gently, with a spoon, scoop flesh away from the shell and stir into chicken broth—do not pierce the shell (or broth will escape). Eat straight from the pumpkin shell and enjoy! Also pairs well with homemade garlic and rosemary bread.

Tipoftheday Want to try other herbs in this soup? These herbs are commonly found in other pumpkin dishes: coriander, cumin, parsley, rosemary, thyme.