Serve this scrumptious dish as a first course on Thanksgiving Day or as dinner's main event on a chilly evening. The curry gives it a subtly exotic flavor, while the apple and honey add a touch of sweetness.
Melt the butter in a medium-size soup pot. Stir in the onion, celery, and apple. Partially cover the pot and sauté the ingredients over medium-high heat until the onion is clear, about 8 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and sauté the mixture for another minute. Stir in 1 cup of chicken broth and cook it for 1 minute more.
Pour the contents of the pan into a blender or food processor, add the pumpkin, and puree the soup until it's smooth.
Pour it all back into the pot, then stir in the remaining chicken broth, the salt, and the bay leaf. Set the soup over medium-high heat and bring it to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
After 5 minutes, stir in the heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of honey. Taste the soup, adding more salt or honey if necessary to get the desired balance of sweet and savory. Simmer it for 2 minutes more, remove the soup from the heat, and serve it hot. For a pretty -- and tasty -- touch, garnish each bowl with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped chives. Makes 6 servings.