I created this soup for a FALL FEAST office party in 2008. At first not many people tried it because they said they couldn't imagine soup with pumpkin and sausage. All it took was one person to try it and next thing I know everyone is trying it and giving me rave reviews. I serve it with thick slices of fresh and crusty Italian bread or the big resturant style garlic croutons to float on top. I made a 7qt crockpot full and they finished it all off. One of my co-workers was standing at the crockpot with the Italian bread and used the bread to clean out the crockpot. He then came over and asked me for the recipe.
In a stock pot, heat olive oil, add minced onions and chopped carrots and cook for 2 to 3 minutes stirring often. Add the chopped garlic and sausage crumbling the sausage as it cooks and stirring often. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook stirring often until the mushrooms start to get tender.
Drain some of the fat off and put the sausage mixture in a 7qt crockpot. Add the canned pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg and combine well; stir in the chicken broth and mix well.
Turn the crockpot on low and cook for 6 to 7 hours. At 6 or 7 hours, add the half-n-half and the well drained white beans. Stir together well and continue to cook for another 60 minutes.
The soup is now ready to serve. Season individually with salt and pepper and for added heat you can season with red pepper flakes. Float some BIG resturant style garlic croutons on top or serve with thick slices of crusty warm Italian bread.