I love pumpkin. You name it, if it has pumpkin, I'll probably like it. I suppose there are worse faults to have, although I can get a bit carried away. Like slowly swirling a scoop of pumpkin ice cream in black coffee - a great way to start a fall day before the temperatures have aligned with the seasons. This variation on pumpkin, is a soup with a few twists. Like orange blossom water. It's so aromatic, but divine. Oooh yes, and cumin, and garam masala, and the scallops just kinda tie it all together! I think pumpkin soup with scallops was the first dish I made for Jeff. I remember being convinced that the scallops wouldn't turn out, as I find the trick to searing scallops is to consistently use the same "brand", the same stove, and the same pan. Thankfully the scallops turned out just fine. Phew! However, a couple things to note with purchasing scallops. Scallops often come from the same distributor, even for different fish markets. More often than not the fishmonger has defrosted previously frozen scallops, as the ones sitting in the case are not usually fresh. Do read the fine print, or ask. Most scallops have been treated with phosphates, sodium tripolyphosphate (STP). This is to help the scallop maintain freshness, but also to prevent a loss of mass, and can increase it too... but they will deflate as they are cooked....sometimes the only way to find out is the hard way - to cook them. Once we had company over, and unfortunately I prepared scallops that were excessively bitter, virtually inedible. The scallops were previously frozen, and then must have been soaked in more STP to "maintain freshness"...okay increase their mass. So, I have had much better luck buying only frozen (little or no STP), and from asking questions. Quite often, scallops are frozen on the boat, or frozen the same day. Flash-frozen. That's about as good as it gets for me. I defrost the scallops in the fridge overnight, or in a plastic bag soaking in lukewarm water. Much more reliable...unless I was able go to out and get them from the water myself! Unfortunately, living on the prairies, has pretty much ensured that I won't be doing that anytime soon. The soup itself is constantly evolving, according to a change in spiciness; but pumpkin pairs very well with the mellow sweetness of scallops. Savoury Pumpkin Soup with Scallops 1.5 litres chicken or vegetable broth 2-28 oz cans of pumpkin 1 cup chopped onion 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp garam masala 1/2 tsp turmeric 1/2 tsp coriander 2 tbsp orange blossom water 1/2 cup maple syrup salt to taste 2-3 scallops per person 1. In a stock pot, heat the olive oil on medium high heat and sauté the onion. When the onion is caramelized, add the spices. Lower the heat, and continue to sauté until fragrant, another 15-30 seconds. 2. Add the cans of pumpkin, and the stock. Continue to simmer, covered, for another 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the orange blossom water, and the maple syrup. Add salt to taste. 3. Add a touch of olive oil to a non-stick skillet, and heat until very hot. Dry the scallops on a paper towel. Using tongs, add the scallops to the hot pan. Depending upon the size of the scallop, cook 1-2 minutes per side. Generally, I cook longer on the first side, to make sure I have at least one side with a nice golden crust. 4. Spoon the soup into bowls, and place the scallops on top. They tend to sink, and just peek out from the top. Finish with a few drops of orange blossom water, or some good quality white truffle oil. Enjoy!