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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Autumn Soup...because I can feel it in the air!

Autumn is coming! I can feel it in my bones. And what a feeling it is!! Crisp, cool weather...sweatshirts and picking...cider...bonfires...sipping wine, drinking beer, eating and feelin' the music around bonfires...leaves changing colors...pumpkins...Halloween...trick-or-treating...Thanksgiving...Thanksgiving birthday...MY SEASON!! Yes, I really love fall. Just in case you didn't catch my drift.

I wish I could find a place where it is fall-like all year 'round. Of course, that makes me wonder if I would still love it as much. Pffft...of course I would. This past weekend was cool and crisp and perfect!! I had a craving to the core for some nice, autumn-y soup. I've had a lonely can of pumpkin puree in my pantry (yes, it survived my pantry-emptying extravaganza) since last fall. It wasn't hot and forceful and screaming to be used; it was cool and earthy and patiently waiting to usher itself in.

Okay, taking it too far now? Try this soup out for size on your next fall-like day and then you can decide.Pumpkin Maple Soup...or I Can FEEL Autumn in my Bones Soup?
by girlichef
yield: ~1 qt. + 1 c.

1/4 lb. Maple Bacon, cut in 1/4" slices, the short way
1 smallish Red Onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can or a scant 2 c. Pumpkin Puree
~3 c. Chicken Stock
1 (~15 oz.) can Great Northern Beans
2 Tbs. Maple Syrup
sea salt- to taste
white pepper- to taste

garnish: freshly grated nutmeg fresh thyme leaves reserved bacon

Maple Cream:
~1/3 c. Plain Yogurt
~1 1/2 Tbs. Maple Syrup

Place bacon in medium soup pot over medium low heat. Saute until it is just done to your liking. Remove with a slotted spoon. Reserve bacon for garnish. Pour off all but a thin coating of bacon fat on bottom of pan. Add your onions to the pan and saute for a minute or so. Add garlic and saute for another minute or so, until both begin to soften.Add in the pumpkin and stir to combine.
Gradually whisk in chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, then add Great Northern beans and Maple syrup. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer ~10-15 minutes to allow flavors to meld and soup to thicken a bit. While soup is simmering, whisk together the yogurt and maple syrup for the Maple Cream Garnish. Adjust with more or less of either to suit your tastes...more maple is actually really good here because the soup is very earth and satisfying, so it helps add another layer of flavor!
Ladle soup into bowls. Dollop with maple cream, sprinkle with reserved bacon and thyme leaves and grate fresh nutmeg over each serving. Enjoy your bowl of Fall...can you feel it in your bones?