Pumpkin and Bacon Soup

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Today, I set out to make a normal everyday pumpkin soup, but then I got a bit side tracked and started adding bacon, sage and a few other bits and pieces and ended up with the best pumpkin soup I have EVER tasted! If you have pumpkin you need to get rid of, I strongly encourage you to try this one, it’s amazing and easy! One thing I love about soup is obviously its warming ability, but also the fact that you can keep it in the fridge for the best part of a week or you can freeze it and save some for later.

Normally for pumpkin soup my ingredients would literally be pumpkin, onion, stock, maybe garlic, some milk and a pinch of allspice. Dice the onion and fry it up with the garlic, add the pumpkin and the stock, bring to the boil and blend – simple! This is also a very tasty way to make pumpkin soup, especially if you have sweet pumpkins and not much else.

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Today, I roasted the pumpkin, which added a delicious caramelised flavour, enhancing the flavour of the soup. The bacon provides some protein and also that familiar flavour that makes everyone happy, and the sage brings it all together. I used jap pumpkin and a little bit of butternut, but you can use whatever pumpkin you have.

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The kids and I had this soup with homemade bread maker bread for lunch, and even they quite happily ate most of their bowlful, although were more excited about the bread, so clearly filled up on that. You can serve this soup with or without bread and any type of bread will work, but the crustier the better.

Try this, you will not be disappointed!

Ingredients:

Serves 6-8

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 4 rashers bacon, rind removed and fat trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 whole pumpkin, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1L chicken or vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • Natural yoghurt to serve

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Peel and cut the pumpkin into 4-5cm pieces, place on the tray and drizzle with olive oil. Cook for ~45 minutes or until starting to brown.
  3. Heat olive oil in large pot, add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally until starting to caramelise, ~6-7 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, leek and garlic and cook for a further 5-6 minutes.
  4. Add the roast pumpkin, stock and sage leaves and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool slightly and blend using a stick mixer.
  6. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste and milk. Stir to combine.
  7. Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt and chopped sage leaves.

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