It’s damp and cool this morning, 46°, and I’ve been working on firewood. I want comfort food today even though I don’t particularly need comforting (but my muscles might by the end of the day), something warm and satisfying. The New England Pie pumpkins we were given were irresistible. I baked two and let them cool overnight. Chicken stock came from the freezer, onions, potatoes and corn from a local farmstand, celery and garlic from my garden, and cream from a dairy about an hour from here. It’s still going to be delicious if none of your ingredients are local. For convenience, skip pureeing pumpkins and buy two 15 oz (why aren’t they 16 oz, two cups?) cans. Be sure it’s not pie filling because that’s already spiced.
A slice of whole grain bread, maybe a rye or wheat or mixed grain, is great with this soup. You could top it with a drizzle of olive oil, roasted pumpkin seeds and a Feta cheese. Add a few croutons to the top, or some Cheddar cheese. As with almost all of the recipes I share here, make it your own by adjusting to suit your tastes!
Use a bacon you like. This would be great with a maple bacon, smoked bacon, or one of my favorites that I make at home, maple bourbon bacon. You can reserve some of the bacon crumbles to add as a garnish (or cook extra…just saying…)
Vegetarian? Leave out the bacon and use three tablespoons of olive oil. Don’t skimp on the oil. Pumpkin has almost no fat.
Pumpkin Chowder warms up well in the microwave or stop top. It makes a great lunch when paired with a grilled cheese sandwich. Need lunch on the run? Warm it in the morning, keep it in your Thermos and have a quick but hardy and satisfying lunch on the road. Great for bird hunting season when you’re dining from the tailgate!
Pumpkin Chowder - On The Fire
- 8 ounces bacon Plain, smoked, maple, other flavors
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat
- 1 medium onion sweet, chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 3 large sage leaves, fresh or 1 tsp dried
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 2 large potatoes starchy, Yukon Gold
- 1 quart chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 4 cups pumpkin puree 2 15 ounce cans is close enough
- 2 cups corn fresh or frozen
- 1 cup cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- Using the pot you'll make the soup in, cook the bacon until crispy. Set aside to cool and them crumble it. Save 2 tablespoons of the fat and store the rest in the fridge to use in another recipe.
- Add the olive oil and butter, minced garlic, chopped onion and celery, and sage. Saute until the onions are translucent.
- Add the potatoes and chicken stock and simmer until potatoes are soft. Don't over cook, don't want them mealy.
- Add the pumpkin, corn, bacon crumbles and cream. Stir well. Let sit a few minutes and then taste for salt and pepper. Bacon is sometimes salty so be sure to taste before adding more. Serve when warmed through.