Curried Pumpkin Bisque
"Meat masala" is nothing more than a blend of spices traditionally used in India for meat curries. Its intensity also blends well with some vegetable and bean dishes; I find it particularly well suited to the flavor of pumpkin.
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 c chopped yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 c celery, chopped
2 tsp meat masala
1 15-oz can solid-pack pumpkin
3 c broth of your choice
1/3 c evaporated skimmed milk or fat-free half-and-half
2 Tbsp sour cream or mascarpone cheese, optional
1 1/2 Tbsp Sucanat or dark brown sugar
3/4 tsp RealSalt or other good salt
Saute onion, garlic and celery in butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When vegetables have softened, stir in meat masala. When spices are fragrant, stir in pumpkin and broth. Simmer several minutes, then add milk and sour cream. Taste and correct seasonings with salt and sugar. Puree until velvety-smooth in batches in a blender. Serves 6.