Errr…..yeah. You probably noticed from the picture that there really isn’t any bacon in the soup. I guess I have to go ahead and make a disclaimer: we ate it all. I could swear I doubled the caramelized bacon so that there would be enough left over after dinner last night to photograph the soup this morning, but apparently my flatmates and I have a bigger hankering for smoked meat than I had accounted for.
But hey, bacon is good for me, right? Ok, good. Glad we’re in agreement. P.S. I hope you got that reference to Wife Swap and didn’t just think I was some crazed bacon fanatic. I swear I’m not! Moving on.
Pumpkins are always harbingers of autumn. Come October, you’ll probably have an easier time finding pumpkin scones and pumpkin lattes than chocolate cake or chai tea. Every grocery store has shelves of Libby’s pumpkin puree and a bin filled with giant orange gourds, announcing fall’s arrival. While the multitude of pumpkin sweets is exciting and unbelievably tempting, I end up sugar-ed out by Halloween.
Blasphemy, I know. This soup is sort of a Halloween tradition in my house, and I’m not one to abandon tradition just because I’m far away. This soup is warm and comforting, with an unexpected kick from the curry paste. The caramelized bacon is so good, you could hand it out to trick-or-treaters, and I guarantee no one would complain. So put the Monster Mash on YouTube, crack open a few cans of pumpkin puree, and get cooking. Happy Halloween!
Hayley Daen is a sophomore at the University of St Andrews, where she lives in a dinky apartment right across from Tesco, which makes throwing impromptu tea parties a snap.
Pumpkin Soup with Caramelized Bacon
4 (14 1/2 ounce) cans pumpkin puree
6 cups vegetable stock
2 crisp apples, cored and coarsely chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon curry paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 slices turkey bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
For the soup: Place pumpkin puree, vegetable stock, apples, carrots, ginger, curry paste, and cumin in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Puree using an immersion blender, or in a regular blender in batches.
For the garnish: Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain off excess fat. Cook onion and sugar in skillet with olive oil until onion is golden and tender. Finely crumble bacon and return to skillet. Cook until mixture is a bit sticky. Sprinkle over each bowl of soup.