Do you ever get cravings for things you’ve never even had before? That is exactly what happened to me last week. Out of the blue, pumpkin soup was on my mind and haunting me for days. Now, on the one hand, I am major soup lover. I’m the sort of person who drinks soup year round because I love the warmth and the I love the flavors you can cultivate. On the other hand— I’ve never really gotten into the spirit of “Pumpkin Season”.
Unlike most, Fall as first generation American (parents are British) in Florida is always somewhat watered down: The weather barely changes. Halloween is still somewhat baffling. Thanksgiving is always delicious (turkey, stuffing, cranberry, roasted potatoes, dinner rolls, apple pie…) but kind of basic (nothing fried, no crazy casseroles, no pumpkin pie, no pecan pie). Even my first Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte was a little anticlimactic because I found the flavor to be a little too sweet!
All this to say, while I couldn’t tell you why pumpkin soup was on my mind but man am I glad it was! After consulting google and Pinterest for a few recipes, I decided the flavor profile I wanted to achieve would be similar to butternut squash soup (there were a few recipes that called for coconut milk and chives which also sounded good so I may try that too). During the process I also decided I wanted the soup to have a tinge of sweetness to it to balance out the salty in the bacon and cheese it would be dressed with on top (it was almost an even split between recipes that called for sugar/honey and recipes that did not).
P U M P K I N SOUP
1 ½ Cans pumpkin puree
4 Cups chicken broth (my boyfriend and I tend to use Kitchen Basics because there’s additives in there)
1 ½ Teaspoons salt
1/ 2 Cup chopped onion
1/2 Teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 Teaspoon minced garlic
8 Whole peppercorns
1/ 2 Teaspoon ginger paste (or fresh ground ginger)
1/ 4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/ 4 Cup honey
1/ 2 – 1/3 Cup heavy whipping cream
4 – 6 Pieces of cooked bacon
1 / 2 Cup Cheese (I recommend parmesan but we had feta in the house and just used that),
1 Bagel (or bread of your choosing) for croutons
1/2 Tablespoon Ghee (or butter)
1. In a large pot, combine pumpkin puree, chicken stock, salt, thyme, garlic, pepper corns, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Turn the stove to high until the pot begins to boil. When this happens, turn temperature to medium-low and place the lid on. Stir periodically.
2. In a sauté pan, fry 4- 6 strips of bacon on medium temperature. When the bacon is crisp, remove the meat from the pan (do not wash it though) and place bacon onto a plate of paper towels as to absorb the excess grease.
3. Turn bacon pan to medium-high and sauté onions with a pinch of salt and pepper. When the onions begin to caramelize, pour the contents on the pan into the large pumpkin pot. This will add some more savory flavor!
4. Add honey to large pot, turn the stove to low and place the lid on. Let this cook for at least another 30 minutes or so to really let the flavors mix. (I deep conditioned my hair that night, so I let my soup go for about an hour and a half)
5. Slowly stir the heavy whipping cream into the pot. Leave this cook for a final 5 minutes.
6. When the soup is complete, serve each portion with crumbled bacon strips, a pinch of cheese, and croutons*.
*During the soup’s final 10 minutes, chop one bagel (we had some frozen, but the bread is up to you) into 1” cubes. Place bread into a sauté pan with ghee (or butter) and season with a pinch of salt and set this on medium high. When the bread turns toasty and golden brown you’re all set to go!