Savory pumpkin soup garnished with grilled shrimp

Savory pumpkin soup garnished with spicy grilled shrimpThis soup is delicious on a chilly winter night. It takes just minutes to make this savory earthy pumpkin soup redolent with smoky cumin and hints of garlic and chili. Top it with a few grilled shrimp or toasted croutons. 

Chop 1 small sweet onion (a generous ½ cup)
Crush or smash flat and dice 2 cloves of peeled garlic
Sweat them (do not brown) in a small amount (1-2 tbsp.) of good olive oil
Add
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp or 1 tsp dried chili flakes depending on taste.  I like it hot.
Stir
Add 1can (15 ounce/ 425 gram pureed pumpkin. I like organic, but do not use pie filling by mistake.
Add 1 quart or liter (about 4 cups) of chicken stock, or use home made if you have it.
Stir and simmer slowly for 10 minutes
Add 2 tsp of maple syrup or a sweetener of your choice
2 tsp of kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
Finish with 1-2 tsp of Meyer lemon oil
Add juice from half a lemon and correct salt and pepper
 
Shrimp for garnish
Peel four large shrimp per person before you begin the soup. Rinse the shrimp and pat them dry.
Mix dry spices: 1 tsp Hungarian sweet paprika, ½ tsp oregano, ½ tsp thyme, 1 tsp season salt, and ¼ tsp cayenne. Macerate for at least 20 minutes.
 
Sauté in a hot pan until pink about 20 minutes.
Place the shrimp on the rim of a soup cup or bowl.
 
For the crouton garnish:
Toast thick bread. Rub with a peeled garlic clove and brush with olive oil or butter. Sprinkle with a light grating of fresh parmesan. Place under broiler for a minute or two.
 
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