tablespoons unsalted butter
medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary (or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary)
tablespoons maple syrup
garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
cup fresh apple cider (or 3/4 cup apple juice)
cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
(15-ounce) cans pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling), or 3 cups homemade pumpkin purée (see Tip)
teaspoon mild curry powder
teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus more for serving
Pinch of ground cloves
teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
teaspoon black pepper, plus more as needed
cup heavy cream, plus more for serving
- In a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes. If the onions begin browning too quickly, turn the heat to low.
- Add the maple syrup and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have darkened in color, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the cider and cook, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced by about half.
- Add the broth, pumpkin purée, curry powder, nutmeg, cloves, salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook at a full simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent scorching.
- Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender or food processor and return to the pot (or use an immersion blender). Bring back to a simmer over medium heat, then turn off the heat and stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add more broth if the soup is too thick.
- To make the optional fried sage topping, melt the butter in a small or medium skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the sage leaves and fry until just crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or a fork, transfer the sage leaves to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the butter left behind in the pan.
- To serve, spoon the soup into individual bowls. Top each serving with 2 fried sage leaves and a drizzle of the reserved butter (if using), or a swirl of cream and pinch of nutmeg. Serve hot.