Pumpkin Soup Shooters with Mini Grilled Cheeses

Happy Thanksgiving week!! I have a really exciting menu planned for Thanksgiving this year all of them pair well together or would make an interesting vegetarian addition to the menu you're already starting to plan for Thursday. Starting off the meal is this easy to make appetizer which can be made in the slow cooker the day of Thanksgiving or prepped a few days before the big meal and then reheated for serving.

Recipe from Cafe Johnsonia.

-1 tablespoon vegetable oil
-1 large onion, diced
-2 carrots, diced
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-4 cups vegetable stock
-1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree
-1 (14 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk 
-1 tablespoon ground cumin
-1 teaspoon allspice
-1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne 
-1 tablespoon maple syrup 
-Salt and pepper, to taste
-Pumpkin seeds, optional garnish

Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet, add the onion and carrot to the skillet. Cook for about ten minutes or until they've started to soften. Add the garlic and saute for about thirty seconds. Add all of the spices and stir for about thirty seconds.

Transfer all of the ingredients to a slow cooker. Add the stock, pumpkin puree, and coconut milk. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours, or HIGH for 3-4 hours.

Before serving the soup, use the immersion blender to make it silky smooth so that it will be easy to serve in the shooter glasses. Once the soup is blended, add the maple syrup and season with salt and pepper.

Pour into tall shooter glasses, garnish with a little bit of pumpkin seeds. Make your favorite grilled cheese sandwich -- havarti or white cheddar would pair nicely with this soup. If you want to get fancy you can add some minced chives to the inside as well. Serve on top of the shooter glasses of pumpkin soup. 

I'm not the biggest fan of pumpkin, but I really enjoyed this soup. It was smooth enough to serve in the shooter glasses and a nice pretty rusty orange color. Cooking it in the slow cooker the day of Thanksgiving or a few days before will help cut down on some of the kitchen craziness that occurs on holidays. You don't need to pair this with mini grilled cheeses, but I think it adds a nice whimsical touch to the appetizer. Holidays are a good day to push culinary boundaries. 


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