Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Savory Pumpkin Bisque with Smoked Gouda

This soup really surprised me.  Smoky... savory...rich...cheesy.  Who knew pumpkin could be this versatile?! 

Yield: 10 entree servings or 15 appetizer size portions

6 bacon strips, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups chicken broth
1 can (29 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups shredded Gouda cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

In a large pot, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain, leaving 1 tablespoon of drippings in pan. Saute onion in drippings until tender. Add garlic and cook until soft, another minute or two.

Next, stir in the broth, pumpkin, salt, nutmeg and pepper and bring soup to a boil. While soup is boiling, chop 4 of the 6 cooked slices of bacon into bite sized pieces and reserve. Return the other two slices to the pot. Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Using an immersion blender, blend soup (including 2 slices of bacon that have been reunited with the soup!) until smooth. Stir in cream and Gouda cheese and cook until melted and warm.

To serve, sprinkle each serving of soup with parsley, bacon and additional cheese if
desired. Yum!

Tips: Omit bacon and/or swap chicken stock for vegetable to make a healthier or vegetarian version.

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