Soup is always a winner whatever the weather, but it is just so appealing in autumn when all we want to do is snuggle under the duvet and eat comfort food.
But comfort food doesn’t necessarily equal stodgy, junky or bad food. Soup (such as my carrot and coriander) is the perfect comfort food, and because all we want to do when it is cold outside is keep warm and feel cosy, it should be simple and quick to make. Ta-da! Enter this Thai spiced pumpkin and bacon creamy soup.
Although soup is perhaps not the most exciting of meals, this one blew my socks off (and not only because it was packed with chillies). It surprised me how good it was, and might even come top in my soup hall of fame.
I made my pumpkin puree from scratch (first time I’ve actually made good use of our Halloween pumpkin) but if you wanted to quicken the process up a little, tinned pureed pumpkin would be fine (or, why not use a butternut squash, instead?).
This soup is spicy, just how I like it, but go easy on the chillies if too much heat is not your thing. Also omit the bacon and cream if you are counting calories (although the cream really does make this dish, so maybe half water, half cream as a compromise?).
This soup is enough to feed two or three adults, but just double the quantities if you want to cater for more people.
180g (1 cup) fresh pureed pumpkin (or tinned, if you preferred)
2-3 cups stock
1 cup (250ml) cream
~ If preparing fresh pumpkin: Heat the oven to 200°C (390°F). Scoop out the insides of a small pumpkin and remove the seeds. Place the "meat" and stringy bits in a medium sized baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper, then bake for around 30-40 mins, until they are nice and soft. When cool, pour into a blender or mixer and puree until smooth.
~ Fry the bacon in a non-stick pan (no need for additional fat to cook with) until it is nice and crispy. Remove excess fat and place to one side until later.
~ In the bacon fat left in the pan, gently fry the garlic and chillies (taking care not to burn them) for a couple of minutes and then add red curry paste and fry for a further minute. Add the pumpkin, salt and pepper, and stock. Cook for around ten minutes then add the cream, and cook for a further five minutes or so.
~ Pour into bowls and garnish with the bacon and a couple of slices of chilli. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!