Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Pumpkin Soup with Sage and Bacon

On a trip to the supermarket the other day,  I had to wade through aisle after aisle of skeleton themed sweets, plastic vampire fangs and bottles of bleach in the shape of Frankenstein's Monster (although I may be making one of these up...) which led me with the swiftness of Sherlock Holmes, to deduce that Halloween is almost upon us.

Me, with terrible wounds...
Much like Chrismas, birthdays and that day when they roll cheeses down a hill somewhere and people chase after them, Halloween seems to be a decisive event.  From people moaning about it being an American holiday, being over-commercialised to people objecting on religious grounds and so on and so forth.  Me, I love it - always have done, back from when I was a nipper and we used to make turnip lanterns as pumpkins were such stuff as dreams were made of back in the 70's in Leeds. 

On to student days when we dressed as zombies, lobster creatures and, erm, werewolves with jaundice (yes, we still remember that Kris!) and now in more sedate times re-watching old Hammer Horror films like Frankenstein and The Monster From Hell and Taste the Blood of Dracula (man those films had way better names that modern horror films do...)

And yes, it goes without saying that the one vegetable that symbolises Halloween is the pumpkin (which are everywhere now...) so here is a pumpkin soup to warm your bones as you prepare to chill your soul this Halloween.

Of course, you could leave out the bacon and use vegetable stock if you wanted, but scientists have discovered that the addition of bacon improves any dish by 1027%, and who am I to argue with science?

40g Butter
2 Onions
1kg Pumpkin
2 cloves Garlic
1.2l Chicken Stock
60ml Sherry
50g Smoked Bacon
Pumpkin Seeds
1tbsp Chopped Fresh Sage
Grated Nutmeg

1. Finely chop the onions and garlic.  Heat the butter in your soup pan and then gently fry the onion and garlic until it starts to colour.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
2.  Peel the pumpkin, de-seed it and then cut the flesh into cubes.  Add these to the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes, until the pumpkin flesh is soft.

3. Add the stock, sherry, sage,and some salt and pepper, bring the pan to the boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes, until the pumpkin is very soft.

4.  Remove the pan from the heat and then blend until smooth, pass the soup through a sieve to remove lumps and make it extra smooth at this point if you like, then return to the pan.

5.  Re-heat and serve.  Garnish with grated nutmeg, toasted pumpkin seeds, basil leaves fried in a little butter until crisp and some cubes of fried smoked bacon.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Great soup. Food on Friday is all about soup. It would be wonderful if you linked this in. Here's the link . Have a souper duper week!