For the Spicy Pumpkin Soup:
1 Tb. oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 Tb. ground cumin
1 1/2 Tb. dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp. salt
8 cups vegetable stock
29 oz. can pure pumpkin puree
15 oz. can white beans, drained
2 Tb. red wine vinegar
2 Tb. honey
For the Toasted Pumpkin Topping:
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup french fried onions
Place a large sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, onion, garlic and jalapenos. Saute for 3-5 minutes until soft. Stir in the cumin, oregano and salt. Saute another 2 minutes.
Add the stock, pumpkin puree and beans to the pot. Simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered. Then add the vinegar and honey and simmer another 3-5 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. *You can also use a regular blender, but be careful! Open the vent in the lid and place a towel over it to protect from hot splashing liquid.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the pumpkin and onions out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with a dash or two of cayenne pepper and a little salt. Toast for 3-4 minutes.
Serve the soup warm, sprinkled with toasted pumpkin and onions.