Pumpkin Soup with Black Garlic

Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main dish.

Black garlic’s sweet, funky, balsamic notes add interest and depth to mild pumpkin. The recipe can be doubled, except use only six cloves of garlic. A “chef’s secret” to make chopping black garlic easier: lightly grease your knife with a few drops of olive oil.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves black garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 can (15-ounces) plain pumpkin purée
½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
½ cup half and half
Salt, to taste

For garnish:
3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
2 cloves black garlic
Salt, to taste

Cook the onion in olive oil over medium heat until translucent, add the spices and black garlic; cook 1–2 minutes more. Add the broth and pumpkin; cook for 20 minutes on medium-low, to thicken the soup and concentrate the pumpkin flavor. (If the soup gets too thick, add another ½ cup of broth, but remember that you’ll also be adding the half and half). Purée with a immersion blender until smooth, then stir in the vinegar and half and half. Add salt to taste.

Make the yogurt garnish by putting 1 tablespoon of yogurt into a small bowl and smooshing the 2 black garlic cloves into it using the back of a spoon. Add the remaining yogurt and mix well. Top each bowl of soup with a generous spoonful of garlicky yogurt before serving.

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