Don't miss out on our special Christmas issue with free 2023 calendar - subscribe by 11 October!
Melt the butter in a stock pot or large pan. Fry the shallots with a grating of nutmeg for 8-10 mins until soft. Add the pumpkin and bay leaf and fry for a few more minutes, stirring to coat in the butter, then pour over the stock. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15-20 mins more until the pumpkin is very tender.
Remove and discard the bay leaf, add the cream and blend thoroughly using a hand blender. Transfer the soup to a clean pan (you can sieve it if you prefer it totally lump-free). Bring to a gentle simmer and taste for seasoning. Add a splash more stock or water if you prefer a thinner soup.
Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry frying pan for a few minutes until they start to pop and crackle. Grate over a little nutmeg and toss with a pinch of salt, then transfer to a plate to cool.
Just before serving, blend the soup with a hand blender again to make it lighter and creamier. Divide the soup between four bowls, drizzle over some more cream and top with the toasted seeds and black pepper. Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or frozen for up to three months.