Roasted Pumpkin Soup

When it first showed signs of autumn this year, I began to crave cold weather comfort foods. This version of pumpkin soup takes on wonderfully earthy notes with the sage and a savoriness with the bacon. I especially enjoyed this alternative without the traditional sweet ingredients like apples, carrots, or coconut milk.

This recipe would comfortably serve four people as a side dish. If you like, multiply the ingredients for upcoming holiday meals – make the base in advance and freeze till needed. This is guaranteed to be on my Thanksgiving menu.

  • 1 sugar pumpkin, 2-3 pounds
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 6 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 8 ounces Pancetta

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the stem and slice the pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and innards (rinse, pat dry, and reserve seeds for later). Sprinkle the inside with sea salt and lay the halves, flesh side down, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for approximately 30-40 minutes, or until a knife can easily pierce the pumpkin skin.  Remove from oven and carefully turn over to cool. Then using a large spoon, remove the roasted flesh of the pumpkin.

In a large heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic, ginger, and half the sage and sauté for an additional 5 minutes. Add the wine, chicken stock, and pumpkin. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Leave uncovered and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until pumpkin is tender and broth is just beginning to thicken slightly. Remove from heat and being careful with your hot liquids, puree the soup using an immersion blender.  Return to heat and let simmer for another 10 minutes to finish thickening.

While your soup simmers, feel free to roast your pumpkin seeds. Clean seeds, and lightly toss with 1 teaspoon sea salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil.  In a 350 degree oven, spread your prepared seeds on a lined baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remember to stir the seeds a couple of times so they bake evenly.

While finishing your soup, in a separate sauté pan, cook the pancetta with the remaining diced sage until golden brown – about 10 minutes over medium heat. Sprinkle on top of soup when serving.


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