The mister is still reading the book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and when he's not reading he's watching the Military Channel so it should come as no surprise that when he's sleeping he's back in the jungles of Vietnam. If he wants to read about war, watch TV about war and then dream about war, it's all fine with me...until he starts to act out the war in his sleep!! Mumbling, trashing about, hitting the bed with FISTS and waking me up with his carrying-on! I am bleary-eyed this morning from not sleeping last night!! Suffice to say, the mister is MY Vietnam!! Since war seems to always be on the mister's mind, this morning when I was putting on my gym socks, he looked a little confused and asked where I had gotten socks from "Hue"...which is a city in Vietnam (also the place of a horrific battle during the Vietnam war) and it's pronounced "way". I reminded the mister that he was in America where people speak English and my socks said HUE, as in the hue of my legs matches the hue of the carpet which is hard to see given the way my right foot looks!
And speaking of hue...the hue of this soup is beautiful! Pumato? Tomakin? Pumtomcan? Their names don't blend as easily or sound as good as this soup tastes. It's perfect for this time of year...warm, comforting, filling and if you're tired (from not sleeping) and don't want to make a huge feast it can be on the table in 30 minutes!
The mister loved this soup and and so did I. It's different. Think of it as a really savory tomato soup...the pumpkin is almost undetectable - it gives the broth a richness and depth...along with the caramelized onions and bacon...YUM! I served this soup with grilled cheese sandwiches but it's good enough to stand on it's own! You can puree the soup so it's smooth and creamy or leave it chunky like I did...either way, it's the perfect meal for a cold, rainy, blustery day.
Pumpkin Tomato Bacon Soup - Adapted (heavily) From Tracy Bermeo, Verona, NJ
(The original recipe calls for using a whole, fresh pumpkin, peeling and dicing it and cooking it in a slow cooker...hello??? Who has time for that?!? Also, the original recipe calls for 6 cups of pumpkin, granted, peeled and diced cooked pumpkin might come out to equal the 2 cups of pumpkin puree I used, but I took the easy way and used what I had on hand...2 cups of leftover pumpkin puree in the fridge. I didn't want a really strong pumpkin flavor, so 2 cups did the trick.)
3 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
8 slices bacon, thick cut, fried till crisp
2 cups pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely minced or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large pot, melt butter; add onions and cook over medium heat until onions are soft and just beginning to caramelize, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Slowly stir in chicken stock, tomatoes and pumpkin. Chop up 6 slices of bacon (set aside two slices) and add to the pot along with the thyme. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Check for seasonings and add salt and pepper is needed. Garnish with remaining pieces of bacon, either by breaking into small pieces and sprinkling on top or serve the soup with the bacon sticking out of the bowl. Serves 4.
(In the off chance the mister reads this post, I want him to know what he missed.)
Having a birthday is Mother Nature's way of telling us to eat more cake!! Glad my age isn't measured in dog years, I would have to be put down! It's been scientifically proven that people who have more birthdays live longer! YAY for ME!