Chef John Folse's Pumpkin, Shrimp, and Tasso Bisque

Prep Time: 1 1/2 Hours
Yields: 12 Servings

No tricks, just treats, plus a great way to reuse those fall decorations. Shrimp and pumpkin have long been a classic combo, but the tasso adds a rich smoky twist for those cool Fall nights.

4 cups pumpkin, mashed or 1 (29 -ounce) can
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup tasso, minced
1/4 pound butter
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup flour
3 quarts chicken stock
2 cups cream
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 tbsps Steen's cane syrup
2 tbsps light brown sugar
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1 medium pumpkin

In a 5-quart stockpot, melt butter. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, and tasso. Sauté until vegetables are translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add flour and blend for 1-2 minutes. Do not brown. Slowly add chicken stock until combined. Add pumpkin and shrimp and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Add cream and spices and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cut the top off the pumpkin and scoop out seeds. Serve soup in the pumpkin tureen.