Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Sage Leaves

I’ve said it before, but there is nothing like a meal full of pumpkin and sweet and savory spices in the month of October.  As the temperature starts to drop and we start to retrieve our coats and scarves from storage, there’s nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of soup.  Since Halloween is quickly approaching, and you’re going to need a festive food to eat while you watch Hocus Pocus (I know you love it), I have developed the perfect Pumpkin Soup recipe for you.  It’s my own “witches brew” full of aromatic spices and rich, pungent flavors.  A creative and impressive way to serve this soup at your Halloween party or even Thanksgiving dinner, is to hallow out small pumpkins, ladle in the soup and have your guests eat right out of the pumpkins!

 

 

Recipe Feeds 2 People

Ingredients-

  1. 1 Tablespoon of raw bacon chopped fine
  2. 1/3 Cup White Onion Finely Chopped
  3. ½ Tablespoon Butter
  4. 1 Clove of Garlic Minced
  5. 1 Bay Leaf (leave it whole.  It is just a flavoring agent)
  6. 1 Cup Chicken Stock
  7. 2 Sage Leaves (Plus a few more for Garnish- optional)
  8. ¾ Cup Pumpkin Puree
  9. ½ Honey Crisp Apple or Macintosh Apple (peeled and diced)
  10. 1 ½ Teaspoons Dark Brown Sugar
  11. ¼ Teaspoon Cinnamon
  12. Dash of Ground Ginger
  13. Dash of Nutmeg
  14. 1 ½ Teaspoons Maple Syrup (optional-you may like it less sweet)
  15.  Salt & Pepper to taste
  16. ½ Cup Milk
  17. Garnish with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, sour cream or creme fraiche

Steps-

  1. Heat a medium saucepan on medium heat.  When the pot is hot put the chopped bacon in the pot.
  2. Allow the bacon fat to render and for the bacon to brown and get crispy.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and set it aside (use it as garnish later).  Leave the fat in the pot.
  3. Add the butter to the pot on medium-low heat.  When the butter melts add the chopped onions, whole bay leaf and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent. 
  4. Add the chicken stock, pumpkin puree and sage leaves.  Bring it to a simmer, stirring periodically.
  5. While the mixture is simmering, place the chopped apple in a microwavable dish and microwave it on high for 3-5 minutes or until soft and mushy.
  6. Add the cooked apple, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, maple syrup, salt and pepper to the pot with the pumpkin mixture.
  7. Allow to simmer with the lid on for 10-15 minutes to bring the flavors together.
  8. Remove from the heat and using an immersion hand blender or a regular blender, blend the soup until it is silky and smooth.  Pour the mixture back into the pot.
  9. Add the milk to the pumpkin mixture and simmer for another 5-10 minutes or so.
  10. Remove from the heat and serve! I heat up some olive oil in a pan on high heat and then fry up some sage leaves in it.  The sage gets crispy like a chip and acts as a great garnish on top of the soup.  You can also put a dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream and a drizzle of honey, or even some toasted pumpkin seeds!  The opportunities are endless.