Well hello, did you miss me? Last week was a whirlwind, and try as I might, I never quite managed to get a post up. I spent the first couple of days attending a conference for work just outside of Boston. Then Apolinaras and I headed over to Portland, Oregon for my friend’s beautiful wedding. We had such a fantastic time catching up with everyone, and I’m hoping to get a trip recap up soon! We returned this morning to an empty fridge, but I just made a grocery list and all the ingredients for this lovely soup were at the top.
Every fall, I get very excited to try a few new pumpkin soup recipes and this time I added some hickory smoked bacon and apple juice to the pot for some extra layers of flavor. I also stirred in a touch of cream and some apple cider vinegar for a bit of tang. Then I garnished my soup with some sweet sautéed apples and crunchy sunflower seeds. We may or may not have inhaled the whole pot in one day…good thing I put enough ingredients for a double batch on my grocery list this time!
Pumpkin Apple Soup
4 slices hickory smoked bacon, chopped
4 large shallots, chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon roasted salted sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seeds if you have some around!)
Heat a large stockpot over medium high heat and add bacon to the pan; cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until crispy, stirring regularly. Drain on paper towels. Add shallots to the same stockpot with the bacon grease and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and sauté one additional minute. Add chicken stock, apple juice, pumpkin puree, the cooked bacon, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth; stir in heavy cream and apple cider vinegar and heat 2 to 3 more minute or until warmed through.
Meanwhile, make the apple garnish by placing apples, butter, and brown sugar in a small pot over medium heat; sauté for 10 to 12 minutes, or until apples are softened and lightly browned. Stir in sunflower seeds. Scoop soup into bowls and garnish with chopped apples. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition: 313 calories, 16.1g fat, 3.9g fiber, 8.0g protein per serving
Cost: $2.48 per serving