Monday, 28 October 2013

Autumnal Pumpkin Soup

Autumn is well and truly here and with it seasonal squashes. The shops are full of pumpkins in anticipation of the forthcoming Halloween celebrations and every year I make this hearty, warming soup. It can also be made with other squashes such as butternut or a combination of them.

Pumpkin, Red Pepper and Bacon Soup
1 medium sized pumpkin
3 red peppers
2 onions
2 sticks of celery
3 pints chicken stock
6 rashers smoked streaky bacon

Method
Remove the flesh from inside the pumpkin. Discard the skin and seeds. Or save the seeds for oven roasting for snacks. Slice the peppers in half and place under a hot grill until the skins blacken. Place the halves in a plastic bag, seal and leave for 10 minutes. The steam will make it easier to peel the skin off.


Chop the pumpkin flesh into 1” squares and add to a large pan. Chop the onions and celery and add to the pan. Remove the peppers from the bag and peel off the skin. Chop and add to the pan. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Once boiling drop to a simmer, put on the lid and leave to simmer for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft. Blend the soup in a food processor or with a hand blender. Chop the bacon into lardons and add to a hot frying pan. Cook until crispy. Add the bacon and the fat to the soup.


Stir and taste. Season as required. Serve with crusty bread. This soup freezes well.

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