Well, I just can’t get enough of the availability of squashes this time of year!!! When I think of fall foods, pumpkin is one of my all-time favorites. Not just for entertainment purposes, such as piling the family into the car and driving to the pumpkin patch to choose pumpkins to carve or use for home décor, but for nutritional purposes, as well. Pumpkins are so packed with nutrition, that this cannot go unmentioned. I encourage you to create an activity with your family where you cut into your pumpkin to gather all the goodness packed inside and take advantage of the low-cost nutrition. The kids will have fun getting messy while working with foods from the earth!
Just the other day I dug into one of my pumpkins to scoop out the seeds to toast for snacking, and to make a batch of the most interesting, scrumptious salsa I’ve ever eaten. (recipe found in previous post from 11/19/2014).
Last night I attended a Halloween dinner party and had a lovely pumpkin soup with bacon. The hint of bacon gave the soup a really nice smoky flavor. I have had pumpkin or squash soup with coconut milk or curry, but not with bacon. I strongly encourage you to try preparing this pumpkin soup (yes, you can substitute with another squash).
1/3 pound of bacon
1 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 clove of garlic, minced
3 # of squash or pumpkin flesh, seeded, peeled and cubed
5 C of water or low sodium chicken broth
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 T fresh thyme leaves and toasted pumpkin seeds
thick slices rustic bread
Fry the bacon in a soup pot. Remove the bacon and drain. Pour off one tablespoon of the fat into a medium-sized frying pan, leaving the rest in the pot. You just need enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Discard remaining fat.
Sauté the onions in the fat until they are translucent. Add the garlic and cook gently for about 2 minutes or until it is fragrant. Add a pinch of salt and some pepper. Add the squash and water, bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook until the squash is very soft, about 20-30 minutes. Puree the soup until very smooth.
While the soup is simmering, spread bread with olive oil and toast. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the bacon in each bowl. Garnish with the thyme leaves and toasted pumpkin seeds. Serve with toasted bread.