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Nothing says Fall like a warm, hearty bowl of soup. Pumpkin Soup with Bacon and Croutons, however, takes Fall to a whole new level.Pumpkin SoupI was blown away with how this soup turned out. Normally I associate the canned pumpkin with sweet treats and desserts, but this soup has changed my mind. I also couldn’t help but think baby food as everything was cooking down (aren’t I super good at convincing you to try my recipes?)…but dammit, it’s a really freakin good adult version of baby food that I would be proud to feed my baby/kids someday (showing them this blog with all the swearing probably won’t be on my list though).Pumpkin SoupAnyways, Pumpkin Soup ended up being a huge success! The bacon and croutons are a must – so was the sprinkling of goat cheese on top. Another thing that blew my mind was the soup was even better the next day. I think this soup will become a yearly October tradition in our house. Next time I will likely double the recipe since the soup is great as leftovers. I also see new versions of this soup surfacing in the years to come, and I can’t wait!Pumpkin Soup

Recipe
Pumpkin Soup with Bacon & Croutons
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 (15 oz) can unsweetened pumpkin
  • 2 cups cooked, diced bacon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 32 oz (2 lbs) low sodium chicken broth
  • dash thyme
  • dash red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 – 6 slices day old bread, depending on what size of loaf you are using (I used a few slices of a crusty artisan loaf)

Additional Garnishes:

  • Goat cheese or sour cream
  • Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the chopped onion and carrots and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 – 10 minutes or until softened. Add a few dashes of salt and pepper while the veggies are cooking down.

2. While the vegetables are cooking, dice raw bacon into small pieces and add to a separate pan. Cook on medium until bacon pieces get slightly crisp. Set aside and drain on paper towels. Leave remaining grease in pan for the croutons. To make croutons, cut bread into small squares and cook on medium-low in the bacon pan until brown and crisp. Set aside to drain on paper towels.

3. Add the pumpkin, half of the cooked bacon (about 1 cup), and nutmeg to the carrot and onion mixture, stirring well. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 – 10 minutes.

4. Pour in the chicken broth, increase the heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes. Add a few dashes of thyme and red pepper flakes, season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed.

5. Remove the pan from heat and let cool slightly. Use an immersion blender to blend up the soup until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, I highly recommend you get one…but transferring the soup to a food processor or blender and blending in batches also works fine. If so, return it to the pan and reheat.

6. Serve soup with the reserved bacon bits and croutons. Soup is excellent with a few sprinkles of goat cheese on top, or sour cream. Toasted Pumpkin Seeds add a nice seasonal flair as well.

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