Sage and pumpkin are a perfect pair. Add chunks of apple and ham and you have the makings of a delicious autumn soup. We use canned pumpkin here in the name of speed, but in fact it tastes as good as fresh once it simmers with the vegetables and herbs. If the soup gets too thick, just stir in a little extra broth or water.
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1/2 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 cups canned pumpkin puree (from one 29-ounce can)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 bay leaf
3 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 1/2- pounds piece of ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice
How to Make It
In a large pot, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and apple and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the pumpkin puree, wine, sage, and bay leaf. Add the water, broth, salt, and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Add the ham and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer. Remove the bay leaf.
Wine Recommendation: Let a cool sauvignon blanc or Fumé Blanc from California bring its own combination of fruit and herbal flavors into play with the apple and sage of the soup.