I’ve discovered that one of the easiest things to make while entertaining is soup. It’s a snap to make a bunch of it all at once, requires very minimal dishes, ingredients that you likely have on hand, and those that you don’t can be bought days ahead of time. Oh, and it looks REALLY cute served as an appetizer in vintage tea cups.
Here’s a funny story about this soup. According to the reaction that it got from Neal, his mom (hey Juj!), my roommate, and others I’ve made it for, it would lead me to think this was one of my best soups yet. However, I discovered, in the process, that I do not like pumpkin.
That being said, those who DO like pumpkin claim this is one of the best pumpkin soups that exists. So, there you go. I promise, if you’re a pumpkin person, you’ll love this. And it’s perfect for a cold, winter night where you’re cooped up inside hiding from a blizzard (cough, this week.) OR it’s great for any cool weather dinner party (which is even better, because then you can serve it in tea cups!)
I originally got the idea for this soup here but I made a few modifications. Here’s the recipe I came up with:
6 Sage leaves
3/4 tbsp cinnamon
3/4 tbsp brown sugar
5 slices bacon, diced
2 cans pumpkin puree (like the kind you’d buy to make pumpkin pie, but make sure it’s not the sweetened kind!)
2 cloves garlic
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup cream (or evaporated milk)
1 cup good, freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
Yield: About 4-5 servings.
Start by dicing up your bacon and throwing it into the soup pot (the good thing about soup is that you cook it all in one pan!) Your heat should be on medium. Cook up the pieces until it’s almost crispy. Throw in your finely diced onion. Saute the onion until translucent, and add the garlic. I like to use a garlic press because it makes my hands less garlicky, but if you don’t have one of those, make sure it’s minced. Turn heat to low, and cook about another minute, until fragrant.
Then add your chicken broth, pumpkin, sage, brown sugar and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer. Taste it, and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Simmer on low, honestly, for however long you want. This soup will come together in about 20 minutes, but like all soups, the longer you let it sit, the better it will taste.
When you’re about ready to serve, throw in the grated parmesan cheese (and make sure it’s the fine, powdery kind, not shredded! This is non-negotiable!) and stir. Once that’s well mixed, add the cream, or evaporated milk. (Side note: evaporated milk is an amazing cream substitute. It’s not as rich and much better for you, plus you can always have it on hand as it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.) Reason being, you don’t ever want to boil cream, so you always want to wait to add it until last.
Also, I will say, soup is all about your own tastes. You don’t need a recipe to make it taste good. If you like your pumpkin soup a little sweeter, add more sugar. If you like it less thick, only use one can of pumpkin. It’s totally up to you. Keep tasting and modifying along the way, and you’ll always be happy with the result.
Garnish with some thinly sliced sage, and more parm on top.