Wash the outside of the pumpkin with warm water and and pat it dry. Using a sharp knife, insert the tip and cut away a round section from the top of the pumpkin to form a lid. Scoop out the seeds and stringy membrane with a large spoon.
Spray the pumpkin inside and out with non-stick cooking spray. Lightly sprinkle the inside with salt. Spray a heavy baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray also. Place the pumpkin on the baking sheet. Place the lid aside of the pumpkin, cut side down.
Bake in a preheated oven at 325° for 1 hour or slightly longer, depending on the size of the pumpkin. Bake until the inside of the pumpkin shell just begins to soften. The shell will be a deep orange color and have a shine from the cooking spray. Do not over bake. An over baked shell will not support the weight of the soup. Remove from the oven. Very gently scoop out any remaining stringy areas you might have missed. Check the bottom of the the lid as well.
Preparation - Pour the hot soup into the prepared pumpkin shell. Top with grated parmesan cheese and chopped fresh chives, if desired.
Pour the hot soup into the prepared pumpkin shell. Top with grated parmesan cheese and chopped fresh chives, if desired.