Thursday, October 8, 2009
Pumpkin and Bacon Soup
I originally planned to make this as a first course, but it turned out so rich and creamy that it was our whole meal (along with some crusty sourdough bread and olive oil).
2 lb pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-in chunks. (Or do what I did - knock off the stem, pierce several times with a fork, and bake at 400 degrees for about an hour. Let cool, then scrape out flesh with a spoon.)
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups peeled, diced carrots (or about 2 med)
1 celery stalk, trimmed and chopped
1 Tbs canola or olive oil
2 tsp curry powder (or to taste, I started with one and ended up adding the other at the end)
1 Tbs whole wheat flour (I think this makes it thicker, but really not necessary if you don't want to add it - I only used 1/2 Tbs and it was plenty thick enough)
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb bacon, diced
salt and/or freshly ground pepper to taste
to garnish: pumpkin seeds and fresh grated nutmeg (I had already thrown away my pumpkin seeds so didn't use those. But you absolutely need the nutmeg!)
Combine pumpkin, onion, carrots and celery in large saucepan with oil. (Since my pumpkin was already baked and the pulp scraped, I just sauteed the mirepoix and then added the cooked pumpkin later) Saute over moderate heat 5-1o mins or until lightly colored and softening. Stir in curry powder and cook 1 min. Stir in the flour, remove from heat and add the stock. (Here's where I added the pumpkin pulp) Puree the whole thing with a "boat motor" or in a food processor or blender. (I had to do about 4 batches in my blender). Put the pureed soup back in the saucepot.
Fry the bacon until crispy. Drain off the fat and add bacon to the soup. Taste, and adjust seasoning as desired. (I did taste my soup before adding the bacon, and you could definitely do it without if you wanted to skip the bacon. You may need to add salt though. I found that the bacon was salty enough to season the whole soup w/out adding more). Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 5 mins, stirring.
Serve in warmed bowls and garnish with pumpkin seeds and grated nutmeg. Enjoy!