Years ago, I was introduced to Pumpkin Soup by a friend of mine. At the time I was actually kind of scared to try it. Writing that now sounds ridiculous. This soup is the savory incarnation of fall. It’s everything you want out of a soup. And it just so happened that week 41 of my cooking challenge was pumpkin. Boom done!
It’s so good, it’s become a tradition in my family to have it with our Thanksgiving meal. Every year it goes without saying that Marga will be bringing pumpkin soup.
So here is my adaption of the recipe I received from my friend so many years ago. The main change is that she used a fresh pumpkin, which she roasts and then chops into chunks. I am lazy, so I use canned pumpkin puree. I’m sure that’s like nails on a chalkboard to some people, but I don’t have the time this year to deal with a whole pumpkin. Sorry! Also, the use of turkey bacon here is in deference to the pork-averse members of my family. I’m sure regular bacon would be bomb-diggity too.
3 15oz cans reduced sodium chicken broth
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 big cans pureed pumpkin
1 tbsp olive oil
8oz turkey bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups fresh butternut squash, cubed
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the bacon and cook until slightly crisp. Then add the onion, celery, bell pepps, garlic and thyme. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the veggies are sweating. Add the white wine and then remove from the heat.
At this point, add one of the cans of the chicken broth. Mix to combine. Now here comes the fun part. Ladle the mixture into a blender. Puree until the entire mix is smooth and there are no chunks of veggies or bacon. The mix will be hot, so hold down the lid of your blender and be careful. Heat = pressure = a soupy explosion waiting to happen, so be careful!!!
Once the base is pureed, pour it back into the stock pot. Add the pureed pumpkin, beans, squash and the rest of the chicken stock. Bring the soup up to a simmer, and let it continue to do so for an hour.
This soup is definitely something you should make ahead! Typically I like to make it on the Tuesday or Wednesday preceding Thanksgiving and then warm it up on the day of. The flavors are even better after sitting and mingling for a day or so.
Garnish the soup with creme fraiche and some pomegranate seeds.
This soup is fabulous year round as well, and is perfect for these chilly fall/winter nights! It really can be a meal all by itself, as you can see from the picture, it’s great with a nice piece of bread for dipping.