AUTUMN’S PERFECT COMFORT FOOD: VELVET PUMPKIN BISQUE RECIPE
Recipe & Photos by Tatiana Whitlock
As originally published in Wide Open Spaces
This sweet and savory Velvet Pumpkin Soup combines the best of autumn flavors! The delicious smell of crisp autumn air, brilliant fall colors, and the holiday season right around the corner make us all crave seasonal treats.
New England farm stands burst with color and overflow with pumpkins while sugar shacks gear up for maple syrup production. These two flavors define the late autumn season and pair beautifully in sweet and savory dishes.
Velvet Pumpkin Soup is quick to become a household favorite with its sweet smooth flavor and hints of savory bacon. Even the fussiest little eater can’t help but be won over by this decadent dish. It goes great as a starter to a wild game meal, or as a stand alone. Who doesn’t love eating pumpkin soup out of a pumpkin bowl?
Velvet Pumpkin Bisque
You will need at least a four-quart Creuset or similar pot.
Makes 8 servings
- 1 medium sized pumpkin, sugar babies are the best. The deeper the orange color of the pumpkin, the better the flavor
- 10 slices of bacon
- 2 tsp butter
- 1 large vadalia onion, or two small sweet onions
- 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup of Maine Maple Syrup (Use real syrup. There’s nothing like the real thing!)
- ½ teaspoon of chopped thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- Salt & Pepper to taste
BAKED PUMPKIN: The Easy Way
In a preheated 325-degree oven place your whole washed pumpkin, stem and all, into the oven on a cookie sheet. Yes, really. Just wash off the dirt and put it in there.
Allow the pumpkin to bake for one to two hours until the pumpkin is soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.
When the pumpkin has cooled slice it down the middle and comb out the pumpkin seeds with a fork. You will be amazed how easily and cleanly they come out. Save these beauties for another treat!
Turn the now seeded halves over and slice lengthwise. Peal the skin off and place the golden chunks of pumpkin into a bowl.
PREPARING THE BASE
Crisp up the bacon in your soup pot to render the fat and make a savory finishing touch for later. When they are ready, resist the urge to snack and allow the brittle bacon to drain and dry on a paper towel lined plate.
Over low heat melt the butter and the finely chopped onions. Take your time with the onions. The goal is to let them cook through until they are translucent. The flavor of caramelized onions is not what we want. It is the light, subtly sweet Vidalia flavor we are after.
When the onions are ready add in the stock, nutmeg and thyme and bring a simmer.
Now it is time to add the pumpkin. Using a potato masher, mash the pumpkin to incorporate it with the other ingredients until you have a thick pumpkin base.
Pour in the maple syrup. An extra little pour from the bottle when no one is looking never hurt… Stir to combine and return to a simmer for 15 minutes stirring all the while.
MAKING VELVET GOLD
Remove the soup pot from the heat and prepare a similar sized bowl and a blender. Blend in batches until the pumpkin mash is the consistency of a smoothie and pour into the reserve bowl.
Leave the last batch in the blender and pour in a portion of the heavy cream. Blend again for a similar length of time and return to a rinsed soup pot.
Repeat for the remaining soup until all of the cream has been incorporated and you have a golden, texture free, consistency.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle each serving with the crushed bacon and serve.
*Note: this soup freezes beautifully in zip-lock bags if you somehow have leftovers.
Whether you choose to serve in regular soup bowls or embrace the season and serve in hollowed
out mini pumpkins this dish is sure to bring smiles all around. The ultimate autumn comfort food!
– From New England with Love, enjoy!