Friday with Fergus 2- Pumpkin and Bacon Soup
The clear winter skies, the fields white with the night's ice made me want some soup to warm us.
Fergus' Pumpkin and Bacon Soup sounds like it will hit the spot.
Pumpkin and Bacon Soup
Nose to Tail Eating
3 onions, peeled
3 leeks, peeled
5 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 kg piece of smoky streaky bacon, cubed or in chunks- keep skin in one piece
4 tinned tomatoes
3 bay leaves
a bundle of thyme and parsley tied together,
3.5 liters of ham or chicken broth
sea salt and pepper
Chop your onions, leeks and garlic. Put a good dose of olive oil into your pot, add the chopped vegetables, and cook but do not brown. Add your chopped bacon and it’s skin. When these have released their fat, squish the tomatoes in your hands and add them, giving your dish a slight blush.. Let this all cook down until you feel they have gotten to know each other, a gentle 25 minutes or so. While this is happening, peel, seed and chop your pumpkin into approximately 2.5cm chunks. Add these and let them cook for about 5-10 minutes. Then add the bay leaves and the thyme and parsley bundle. Now add the stock, enough so you end up with an Artic Sea of soup with icebergs of pumpkin bobbing about in your broth. Simmer until the pumpkin is soft and giving, but not falling apart ( though a little disintegration is not a bad thing), say 30-40 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
I have a magnet on my fridge, it says "She doesn't always follow the recipe".
It's not that I don't mean to, but as I was reading the recipe, questions popped into my mind:
Does Fergus use red, white or yellow onions?
How big are his onions?
How big is the Pumpkin?
Then of course little things like I couldn't get English style bacon so used Italian pancetta, and instead of broth, I use water with Sicilian sea salt, extra virgin olive oil for the fat that would be in the chicken or pork stock he recommends.
The soup is a luscious silky chowder which hits the spot as the sun goes down on another Friday with Fergus!
Kate and I were emailing back and forth, and in two separate kitchens, our minds simmering with thoughts of pork and pigs.
As I was writing her I was going to make soup, this poem arrived from her.
Moon of the ladle
Rising above the mountain
Going down into the saucepan
Dredging what has grown from seed
In the garden
Thickened with potato
Outliving us all
On the wooden sky
Of the kitchen wall
Of the steaming pewter breast
Veined by the salts
Fed to her children
Hungry as boars
With the evening earth
Engrained around their nails
And bread the brother
Ladle pour the sky steaming
With the carrot sun
The stars of the salt
And the grease of the pig earth
Pour the sky steaming
Pour soup for our days
Pour sleep for our nights
Pour years for our children