Recipe: Pumpkin orange soup with Halloween croutons

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Servings: 2-3

Total Time: 50 minutes

Note: This is a vegetarian recipe.

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, chopped

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

3 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

2 slices white or wheat bread

Salt, pepper

1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in medium saucepan. Add onion and cook over medium-low heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add pumpkin puree and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth, orange juice and orange zest. Bring to boil then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes.

2. While soup is cooking, make croutons. Use kitchen shears or scissors to cut 4 or 5 (2-inch) pumpkin shapes from bread. Melt remaining butter in small skillet over medium heat and fry croutons until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Lift croutons from skillet using spatula, and use toothpick to poke out eyes, noses and mouths on each to make jack-o'-lanterns. Set aside.

3. Finish soup by pureeing in blender until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour soup into bowls and top each with finished croutons.

Each serving: 198 calories; 1,263 mg sodium; 21 mg cholesterol; 9 grams fat; 27 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 1.79 grams fiber.

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