December 20, 2010

Pumpkin, Bacon, Leek, and White Bean Soup


Some things are just too easy.

I've been re-reading Fergus Henderson's books (The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating and Beyond Nose to Tail: More Omnivorous Recipes for the Adventurous Cook). If you haven't read his work, it's humorous and full of wonderful kitchen wisdom. I particularly enjoy his style of recipe writing.

Anyway, he published a recipe for Pumpkin and Bacon soup, and as you may recall from last time I have a large quantity of savory pumpkin purée needing to be used. Unfortunately, his recipe calls for raw pumpkin, but pumpkin and bacon seemed too good an idea to pass up, so I made up my own soup.

Cut about half a pound (250g) of nice home-cured bacon into lardons. Add to a saucepan on medium-low heat until the fat begins to render. Add 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced about the same thickness as the lardons. Cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks are soft and luscious and the bacon crispy.

I could stop right here. Break out some bread and wine, eat the bacon and leeks, mop up the bacon fat with the bread, and drink the wine. Who needs soup? Except there was someone waiting for soup, so I couldn't eat that goodness, I had to wait. If I'd been alone, though....

Add a glass of pinot grigio to the bacon and leeks (and one to the cook as well for not eating the bacon and leeks), then add about a quart of pumpkin purée. While it returns to the simmer, open, rinse, and drain a can of white beans. Add the beans to the pot. While you're at it, toss in a leaf of sage, lightly bruised to release the essential oils.

Let the flavors get well acquainted in a simmer. Stir now and then. Be sure to take out the sage leaf before serving. If the bacon was good and salty, you won't even need to add any salt. Serve with plenty of bread, and maybe a light sprinkling of chopped parsley. Look out the window at the lovely snow as the soup (and wine) warm your insides.

[caption id="attachment_2398" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="December 14, 2010, 18 inches on the ground"][/caption]

Shall I tell you about that bread? Yes? Okay, next time.

14 comments:

  1. Wow what a perfect recipe. It sounds so comforting. What a snow! It looks gorgeous and freezing :)

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  2. Sounds delish! I love any and all soups!

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  3. This soup sounds excellent. We're big fans of anything with bacon in it :) And look at all that snow! I wish we had at least a little (don't think that'll happen since I'm in Texas though!)

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  4. Yummy! Sounds delicious and comforting. Thank you for sharing!

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  5. That soup sounds amazing! I LOVE LEEKS!! And anything with bacon in it is good in my book!

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  6. Mmmmm, mopping up bacon fat with bread sounds pretty awesome to me right about now :-) Haha - I have never done it though! Bacon goes with everything.

    I had bacon chocolate for the first time a few months ago, and it was incredible.

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  7. A perfect meal for the cold weather. Congratulations, and yes, I'm waiting to hear about the bread :)

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  8. Pumpkin. Bacon. Soup. What is not to love? I can't believe all that snow!

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  9. Thanks, all! I appreciate your comments. Hope you're having a good Holiday, whatever Holiday you may be celebrating.

    The bread post is ready and will be posted on Friday. If you enjoy it, please consider "buzzing" it on Foodbuzz or clicking the "vote for me on Foodbuzz" button on the left. Thanks!

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  10. This looks delicious, with such hearty flavors and warmth! Is the consistency almost more like a stew? And I am excited you shared the link to your home cured bacon, it is on my list of things to make in the new year!

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  11. Stew would be a good description of the consistency. In my experience, squash-based soups need to be thick (or loaded with dairy) or they will taste thin and watery.

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  12. I dunno, bacon, leeks and pinot would be enough for me. ;) But seriously, what a great flavor combination you've got there. Will have to try this one out since it combines all my favorites!

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  13. So you understand the problem I had. I was ready to eat but had to go ahead and finish the soup because someone else thought they would like to eat. ;)

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  14. Gareth, I could barely click over from G+ fast enough for a closer look. I'm bookmarking it for sure as the flavor profiles sing delicious harmony. Thank you for bringing this recipe out of archive!

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