Introduction: Curried Pumpkin and Bacon Soup

Soup is a great way to use up any leftover pumpkins from Halloween, but this recipe is worth going out and shopping for. Pumpkin is itself not especially flavorsome, but its taste here is massively boosted by the addition of curry, a big hunk of bacon, and cream. As a result, I suspect it's not the healthiest pumpkin soup around, but it's incredibly good (my wife, who generally despises bacon, loves this soup). It probably freezes well and keeps in the fridge, but around here it gets scoffed too fast to tell.
The recipe comes unattributed, because all we have is a tattered copy of a page (passed on by one of our grandmothers) from an old slow cooker recipe book (p18, shared with a nasty red lentil soup).
Note: If you're looking for a vegetarian version, try Jayefuu's recipe; for vegan, try Carleyy's. This recipe is decidedly neither.

Step 1: Ingredients and Equipment

1 kg (2.2 lb) peeled and seeded pumpkin
250 g (9 oz) bacon hock, diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
3 tomatoes, quartered
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 heaped tsp of powdered chicken stock
black pepper
5 cups hot water
2 tsp curry powder
1.5 cups milk
0.5 cup cream

You also need a slow cooker (crockpot) and a stick blender.

*The picture shows a pumpkin, but squash work equally well (butternut squash are particularly good). What's the difference? Pumpkins have orange skin, squash have green, grey or yellow - they're otherwise essentially the same vegetable.

Step 2: Peel, Chop, Add, Cook

Peel and cut up the pumpkin and add to the slow cooker.
Add the diced bacon, potato, finely chopped onion, quartered tomatoes, chicken stock, water and pepper.
Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for twice that length of time.

Step 3: Finish

Using the stick blender, blend the contents of the slow cooker in situ (you could use a regular blender, but I imagine transferring the the hot soup back and forth would be a drag). Add curry powder, cream and milk. Stir well, sample, add more curry, salt or pepper to taste.
Cook on high to reheat to piping hot (do NOT boil).

Step 4: Serve & Enjoy

Garnish with spring onions, black pepper and a swirl of cream. Serve with bread or toast or rolls with butter. Yum - and a couple of bowls is pretty much a meal in itself.

Comments

author
Tornado+of+Knives made it!(author)2012-11-25

Needed to process some big Halloween pumpkins. Very versatile recipe, and the pumpkin gives it a wonderful color. I substituted powdered beef stock for the chicken, ham-ends for the bacon, carrots and celery for the tomatoes, and condensed milk for the cream. Delicious! Thank-you!

author
makendo made it!(author)2012-11-25

Glad you enjoyed it, and good to know it's tolerant of changes. We've generally stuck fairly closely to the recipe, but the last few times have skipped the milk and added carrots, which has also had good results.

author
Tornado+of+Knives made it!(author)2012-11-27

Yeah, that soup went into my thermos and my father's so we could demolish a house in freezing drizzle; even better the next day! I still had plenty of the pumpkin puree to use up, so this time I kept the ham, then changed it to two potatoes and a sweet potato instead of carrot, halved the onion, and replaced some water and the milk with 4 cups of low-sodium vegetable drink. This version is so good it's going on sticky rice and fried red snapper.

author
meddler made it!(author)2011-12-04

My wife made pumpkin puree with a number of pumpkins that were given us. How many cups would you recommend to make this soup?

author
makendo made it!(author)2011-12-04

If the puree is just pumpkin, about 4 cups I reckon. The recipe is pretty robust though, so more or less pumpkin-y will be fine - we just tend to use whatever size pumpkin (squash) we have, and put it all in.

author
meddler made it!(author)2011-12-05

Ok, thanks for the info. Maybe this will get some of that puree sitting in the freezer used up.

author
RayArdia made it!(author)2011-04-11

A bit puzzled by "2 heaped tsp of chicken stock"!
Recipes I know usually refer to Chicken Stock as a liquid and therefore give quantities by volume,
Are you using chicken stock powder or cubes?
BTW, nice to see a recipe for using up squashes of any type. I love to grow them, colours are great, but there's always too many!

author
makendo made it!(author)2011-04-11

Yes, powdered chicken stock - thanks for spotting that, I've edited that step. And yes, squash are pretty hard to keep up with, though the butternuts keep reasonably well.

author
deqwer made it!(author)2010-11-29

em,actually what kind of curry powder you use ?There are many kind of curry powder in the market and different kind of curry powder could make a big change on the taste of the soup .

author
makendo made it!(author)2010-11-29

Good point - but honestly, if you're lucky enough to have a choice, you certainly know more about the options than me! The powder we used is a generic North American yellow curry that has little information about the ingredients ("turmeric, herbs, spices"). I'd like to think any of the different types of powder (there are three recipes on Chow, for example) would work, but if you have any recommendations, I'd be pleased to hear them.

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