Pumpkin & bacon soup

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 1 hr and 10 mins
Serves: 4

1 tbsp vegetable oil
50g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
150g maple-cured bacon, cut into small pieces
½ Crown Prince pumpkin or onion squash,
peeled, deseeded and cut into medium chunks
(you need about 500g pumpkin flesh)
1l chicken stock
100ml double cream
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
maple syrup, for drizzling

Step 1

In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil with 25g butter. Add
the onion and a pinch of salt and cook on a low heat for 10 mins
or until soft. Add 60g bacon and cook for a further 5 mins until
the bacon releases its fat. Then increase the heat to medium, add
the pumpkin and stock and season. Bring to the boil, then reduce
the heat to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for about 40 mins
until the pumpkin is soft. Pour in the cream, bring to the boil
again and remove from the heat. Set aside some of the liquid,
then blend the remaining pumpkin until smooth and velvety,
adding liquid back into the pan bit by bit as you go (add more
liquid if you like it thinner). Strain through a fine sieve, check the
seasoning and set aside.

Step 2

Melt the remaining butter in a pan over a high heat and fry the
rest of the bacon with black pepper for 5 mins. Divide the bacon
between four bowls, reheat the soup and pour over. To serve,
sprinkle over the pumpkin seeds and drizzle with maple syrup

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