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
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.