with Bacon and Thyme: A Hearty Autumn Delight
Indulge in the rich, smoky flavors of Pumpkin Soup with Bacon and Thyme. This hearty autumn dish combines roasted pumpkin, savory bacon, and aromatic thyme for a delightful symphony of tastes. Don’t forget the crunchy roasted pumpkin seeds! A perfect blend of warmth and comfort.
Embrace the essence of autumn with a bowl of hearty Pumpkin Soup enriched with the smoky allure of bacon and the aromatic notes of thyme. This recipe, inspired by Food & Wine, elevates the dish by starting with a foundation of freshly roasted and pureed pumpkin. However, for a delightful twist, consider substituting with butternut or acorn squash. Don’t discard the seeds! Roast them for a delectably crunchy topping. With garlic, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper, this soup is a symphony of earthy flavors and pumpkin spice warmth.
- 1 three-pound pumpkin (or substitute with butternut or acorn squash)
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
- Roasted pumpkin or squash seeds, for garnish
- Prepare the Pumpkin (or Squash):
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds (set them aside for roasting), and place the halves on a baking sheet. Roast for about 45-50 minutes, or until the flesh is tender. Let it cool, then scoop out the flesh and puree until smooth. Set aside.
- Roast the Pumpkin Seeds:
- Rinse the seeds, removing any remaining pumpkin pulp. Toss them with a bit of olive oil, salt, and your choice of seasoning (e.g., cayenne pepper, paprika). Roast in a preheated oven at 300°F (150°C) for about 10-15 minutes, or until golden and crunchy.
- Cook Bacon and Onions:
- In a large pot, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. In the same pot, add olive oil and sauté the chopped onion until translucent.
- Add Aromatics and Puree:
- Stir in the minced garlic, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Cook for about a minute until fragrant. Add the pumpkin puree and mix well.
- Simmer the Soup:
- Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth and bring the soup to a gentle simmer. Let it cook for about 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Blend and Season:
- Using an immersion blender or regular blender (in batches), blend the soup until smooth. Return it to the pot and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Finish with Cream (Optional):
- Stir in the heavy cream, if using, for added richness.
- Serve and Garnish:
- Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with crispy bacon and a sprinkle of roasted pumpkin or squash seeds.
- For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon and use vegetable broth.
From the roasting of the pumpkin to the aromatic infusion of thyme and spices, this Pumpkin Soup with Bacon and Thyme is a celebration of autumn’s bounty. Share the warmth and savor every spoonful!
Note: Recipe adapted from Food & Wine.
Disclaimer: Recipe details and measurements are subject to personal preference and dietary restrictions. Adjustments can be made as needed.