My boyfriend has never eaten any sort of squash (pumpkin included) in a savory dish. He's always preparing me delicious meals -- a lot of them unplanned and without a recipe, simply by looking in the refrigerator and our pantry and just throwing things together. While I'm halfway decent at improvising meals, I wanted to impress him and cook him a delicious meal that made pumpkin the star in a savory dish. With the colder temperatures approaching quickly, I figured I would make one of our favorite dishes: a soup. That being said, we're both incapable of eating anything without dumping on a few spoonfuls of cayenne pepper or hot sauce, so I knew that I had to make something extremely flavorful to wow him. After looking through our pantry, refrigerator, and a few recipes on the internet, I have created this Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Bacon and Spicy Fried Chickpeas.
This recipe could easily be altered to make this a vegetarian/vegan meal.
Step 1: Ingredients
For the soup, you will need the following ingredients:
- 3 ½ cups of pumpkin puree; (I made mine from scratch following Not_Tasha's Instructable, Fresh Pumpkin Puree) -- I'm sure that canned would work just as well.
- 3 cups chicken stock (I used Better Than Bouillon base to make mine; the ratio is 1 tsp. base to 1 cup water)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 ½ tsp. chili powder
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- Salt, to taste
For the topping, you will need the following ingredients:
- 2-3 pieces of bacon
- 1 15oz. can of chickpeas
- Reserved bacon grease
- 2 tsp. brown sugar
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- ½ tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 tsp. chili powder
To make this a vegetarian/vegan meal, simply remove the bacon, substitute the butter/bacon grease for oil or water, use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, and substitute the cream for a non-dairy item.
Step 2: Prep
Smash 4 cloves of garlic with the side of your knife, and then give them a rough chop -- this can be as fine or as chunky as you'd like, depending on your personal preference. Take the onion and do the same -- I chose to dice mine, but you can mince, dice, chop, or slice -- depending on your personal preference.
While you're working on chopping the garlic and onion, set 3 cups of water in a pot to boil on the stove. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, add 3 tsp. of the chicken base to the pot, stirring until dissolved. Allow the broth to cook for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat and place to the side.
Step 3: ...Now You Got a Soup Going, Baby!
Place the chopped onion and garlic into the stockpot you'll be using for your soup, along with either some butter or oil. I chose to use some butter as it was already sitting out on my countertop. Cook the onion and garlic on medium-high heat until it is soft and fragrant, but not brown, stirring often for about 5 minutes. Add the turmeric, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and chili powder and mix. Add the pumpkin puree and chicken stock to the pot and stir until combined. Bring the soup to a boil, and then turn it to low heat and let it simmer, stirring occasionally. Pour in 1 cup of heavy cream and stir until incorporated. Continue to let the soup simmer.
Step 4: Fryin' Some Bacon
Cut your bacon into little pieces. Place it in a frying pan and cook until it is crispy. Place the cooked bacon onto a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Keep the bacon grease in the pan. Trust me.
Step 5: Chickpeas and Bacon Grease
Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Place them onto a layer of paper towels, and then pat them dry with another layer of paper towels on top of them. Place them into the frying pan with the bacon grease, on medium heat, along with the brown sugar, garlic powder, ground turmeric, smoked paprika, chili powder, and salt. Fry the chickpeas until they're crispy, about 5-7 minutes.
Step 6: Make It Look Nice (and Feast)!
Ladle yourself some soup into a bowl, and add some bacon bits and spicy fried chickpeas. Serve, eat, and enjoy immediately.