There’s nothing that says autumn, or Halloween for that matter, than a pumpkin. Now, as much as it’s ridiculously delicious in pies or as a medium for artistic work, pumpkin is a wonderful ingredient in savoury dishes, as well. Being part of the squash family, it naturally goes well with bacon – just as everything else does, am I right? Today’s pumpkin installment at the Republic of Bacon is inspired by a friend of mine who is attempting the “great soup project”, a different soup every week for a year. This could be his first one!

Ingredients:

6 strips Maple Leaf Bacon

1 Large onion, diced

2 cloves Garlic

1” Ginger, grated

1 tsp Mustard seeds

1 tsp Tumeric

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Corriander

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

½ tsp Cardamom

1 large can Pumpkin (Pure, unsweetened, unseasoned)

1 can Coconut milk

900mL Chicken Stock (1 tetrapack)

2 Bay Leaves

1 cup Water

¼ cup Chopped Cilantro

Directions:


1. Slice up your bacon into ¼” strips. This will allow us to extract the most wonderful rendered fat in the least amount of time.


2. Toss your bacon into a large soup pot, and fry. Once almost crispy and a lot of fat has rendered, toss in your diced onion, minced garlic and grated ginger. Continue to fry until everything is fragrant and the onions have gone soft and translucent.

3. Add in your spices from the mustard seeds to the cardamom and stir those around in with the aromatics and bacon to wake them up. After about 15-25 seconds, toss in your pumpkin, coconut milk, chicken stock and bay leaves. Let this simmer for roughly 30 min. Check for seasoning. It will definitely need salt, and maybe a little more of one or two of those spices we added earlier.

4. After simmering, remove the bay leaves, and then blend the soup either with a stick blender, or in batches in a regular blender until its nice and smooth.

5. Serve in your favourite bowl with some chopped cilantro leaves. A great bowl of soup for a chilly fall day.