By Eleanor Ozich
Pumpkin soup topped with oregano, natural yoghurt and bacon crumbs.
This golden and velvety pumpkin soup is wonderfully nourishing and deliciously heartwarming. The addition of roughly torn-up oregano gives a fantastic fragrant and earthy touch, and the added garlic at the end adds a lovely kick.
To serve, top with thick and creamy natural yoghurt and sprinkle generously with deliciously crispy and salty bacon crumbs. Perfection.
PUMPKIN SOUP TOPPED WITH OREGANO, NATURAL YOGHURT & BACON CRUMBS
• 1 medium-sized pumpkin, peeled and chopped into thick pieces • 6-8 cups good quality vegetable or chicken stock • 2 Tbsp ghee, butter or extra virgin olive oil • 2 cloves garlic • Sea salt • Pepper
To serve: • 6 rashers free-range bacon • 4 large Tbsp natural yoghurt* • Large handful fresh oregano, roughly chopped • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling • Freshly ground pepper *You could also use sour cream or creme fraiche instead of natural yoghurt, or leave it out all together if you prefer.
1. Put the pumpkin pieces in a stockpot or large saucepan and cover with the stock.
2. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender and the liquid has reduced slightly.
3. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a blender, one ladleful at a time. Add the butter, ghee or olive oil, and garlic.
4. Blend until smooth, then season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
5. Grill, or bake the rashers of bacon until crispy, and roughly chop in to crumb-size pieces.
6. Gently reheat soup and ladle into bowls. Top with a dollop of natural yoghurt, sour cream or creme fraiche and bacon crumbs.
7. Serve with a sprinkling of oregano, freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.