We spent the week in sunny Texas, but got home yesterday to dreary drizzle. Blech. Luckily, we had fun brunch plans and all the ingredients for a steamy soup ready for today. There’s really nothing better, in my opinion, than a warm bowl between your hands on a dark winter night. Even better if the contents of that bowl are sprinkled with bacon.
This recipe comes from a great book called Art of the Slow Cooker, which we use pretty often. I substituted a few ingredients to stay within the Dark Days SOLE requirements and made a few other modifications to make my life easier. It is deliciously creamy and satisfying, but pretty healthy and quick to make.
My slow cookerwas indispensible for this soup. I used it to make the vegetable stock a few weeks ago, which I froze, to cook the pumpkin overnight last night, and to make the soup this afternoon. If you don’t have a slow cooker, you could make the stock and soup in a heavy pot on the stove and follow the oven roasting method for cooking the pumpkin.
|Amount||Ingredient||Preparation||Where we bought it
(* Union Square Greenmarket)
|1 TBsp||butter||Ronnybrook Farm *|
|1 large (8-12 ounces)||yellow onion||chopped||S&SO *|
|3 cloves||garlic||chopped||Keith’s Farm *|
|4-5 cups||pumpkin flesh (from a 5-6 pound pumpkin)||cooked, but no need to puree or drain||Oak Grove Plantation *|
|2 quarts||vegetable broth||Various *|
|1/8 tsp||ground nutmeg|
|1 tsp||kosher salt|
|1/2 tsp||pepper||freshly ground|
|1/2 cup||half & half||Milk Thistle Farm *|
|1/2 cup||cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or something smoked||grated||Cato Corner Farm (We used their Aged Bloomsbury) *|
|2 TBsp||fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley (optional garnish)||chopped||Keith’s Farm *|
|2-3 strips||bacon (optional garnish)||sliced into short strips and cooked until crispy||Oak Grove Plantation *|
|1/2 cup||nuts (optional garnish)||toasted and chopped|
- Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven.
- Add the onion and saute over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook briefly.
Note: The onion is dark in the photo above because we crisped the bacon first and then used the same pot for the onion to add a little exta bacon-y flavor. This is a good method if you want to garnish with bacon, but it’s not necessary.
- Stir in the pumpkin, broth, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours (or high for about 4).
Be careful when pouring the soup into the crock. It splashes!
- Just before eating, add the half and half and cheese and use an immersion blenderto puree the soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a blender, but be very careful. Blending hot liquid can lead to an explosion, so please let it cool down for some time before you blend.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the parsley and bacon or toasted nuts, if desired.
Any leftovers can be frozen. We served this with homemade crackers.