1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 tablespoons butter
1 fresh bay leaf
2 ribs celery with greens, finely chopped (save time and purchase celery already washed, trimmed and cut into sticks – this makes fast work of chopping)
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning or 2 teaspoons ground thyme
2 teaspoons hot sauce, or to taste
6 cups chicken stock
1 can cooked pumpkin puree (28 ounces)
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For the relish:
1 crisp apple, such as McIntosh or Granny Smith, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries, chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat a medium size soup pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add the EVOO and melt the butter. Add the bay leaf, celery and yellow onion. Season the veggies with salt and pepper. Cook for 6-7 minutes, until tender. Add the flour, poultry seasoning and hot sauce, to taste, then cook the flour for a minute. Whisk in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a bubble. Whisk in the pumpkin in large spoonfuls to incorporate it into the broth. Simmer the soup for 10 minutes to thicken a bit, then add in the cream and nutmeg. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm until ready to serve.
While the soup cooks, assemble the relish: combine the apple, red onion, lemon juice, cranberries, chili powder, honey and cinnamon.
Adjust the seasonings in the soup and relish, to taste, and serve the soup in shallow bowls with a few spoonfuls of relish.