Well blow me down, it is cold by the sea.
I mean, we’re not exactly on the seafront or anything…but it’s decidedly nippy, definitely.
Or maybe I just wanted an excuse to start churning out comfort-food by the bucket-load.
Difficult to say.
Making soup always reminds me of home. I remember my Mum making huge pots full of the stuff to feed us kids (there were 5 of us, plus 3 dogs. Poor woman).
So whenever I make it, I think of Mumma Goose. Which is comforting too, since she lives way up in Northampton and I only get to see her every couple of months.
This is the very best time of the year to make soup, because there are pumpkins absolutely everywhere. And pumpkin soup is the best soup.
Careful not to get one of the huge carving ones – they’re not for eatin’. A smaller, cuter culinary pumpkin is what you want.
If, somehow, you can’t get hold of one (or you want to make this recipe when pumpkins are out of season or stock) butternut squash works a dream, too.
And sure, you could have the soup sans topping. It’s super filling and the chilli really livens it up.
But really… you don’t want a bit of maple bacon thrown in there?
Yep. Just as I thought.
Best consumed from your favourite mug. For optimal results, cocoon yourself in an enormous blanket whilst devouring.
Pumpkin & Sage Soup with Maple Bacon
- 1 small culinary pumpkin, peeled and diced
- 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
- 5 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 5-6 sage leaves
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme (sub. for 1 tsp dried)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- pinch chilli flakes (optional, to taste)
- 1 tsp agave nectar (sub. for honey)
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 4 musclefood Low Fat Bacon medallions
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
Preheat your oven to 200C (390F). Prepare your vegetables whilst it warms up.
Throw them into a large roasting tray, and toss together with some cooking spray, your sage, thyme and chilli flakes (if using).
Season generously with salt and pepper and roast on the middle shelf of your oven
After 30 minutes, give them a stir and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven once more, and drizzle with the agave nectar, stirring gently to ensure an even coating. Return to the oven for a final 10 minutes.
Make up 1L of vegetable stock and set aside.
Remove the vegetables from the oven, and blitz in a blender until smooth. (Use a hand blender if you have one!)
Gradually add the stock, blending after each addition.
For the bacon, simply slice the medallions into strips and cook in a frying pan on a high heat for 1 minute.
Reduce the heat and add the maple syrup.
Stir frequently and remove from the heat when the syrup has caramelised, around 3 minutes.
When you're ready to eat, warm the soup through and top with extra chilli flakes and cracked black pepper.
Top with maple bacon and serve.
Top Tip: You can use butternut squash instead of pumpkin. I'd highly recommend buying pre-prepared pumpkin / squash if you're looking to save time! You'll need 500g butternut squash to replace the pumpkin.
Calories: 158 / Protein: 8g / Carbohydrate: 40g / Fat: 2g
Calories: 181 / Protein: 3g / Carbohydrate: 40g / Fat: 1g / Fibre: 5g
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