Gingered Pumpkin Soup with Cotija
Cotija cheese is a salty, crumbly staple used in Mexican and Latin cooking, often as a topping, in the same way Parmesan is used in Italian cooking. The spiced pumpkin seeds can be made up to three days in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Heat the oven to 325˚F. Toss the pumpkin seeds on a nonstick baking sheet with the butter, chili powder, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Bake, tossing twice, until toasted and crisp, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
Combine the pumpkin, chicken broth, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the pumpkin is very tender, about 20 minutes. Season with the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the pot from the heat. Puree the soup in a blender in small batches, adding more broth if necessary to yield a smooth consistency. Spoon each serving into a bowl, and top each bowl with about 2 tablespoons cotija. Garnish with pumpkin seeds.
Written by Caroline Wright
Photography by Michael Harlan Turkell