Here's a delicious recipe for soup that's perfect for October, from the pages of Pumpkin by DeeDee Stovel.
Creamy Kale & Pumpkin Soup
Kale packs a nutritional wallop that is hard to beat. Pumpkin makes it even better. But the best part of this winter soup is its mild and smooth pumpkin potato flavor, spiked with a bitter hint of kale. Serve with a zesty sourdough bread for a wonderful winter lunch or supper.
3 slices bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth, homemade if possible
2 medium new potatoes (about 3⁄4 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1⁄2 pound curly kale, stems and ribs removed, finely chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
11⁄2 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin
1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1⁄8 teaspoon white pepper
3⁄4 cup half-and-half
1 Cook the bacon over medium heat in a large Dutch oven until brown and crispy. Remove it from the pot, crumble, and set aside. Pour off all but about 1 teaspoon of the fat.
2 Heat the olive oil in the same pan and add the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and onion starts to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
3 Pour two cups of the broth into the pan and stir to loosen browned bits on bottom of pan. Add the potatoes, kale, and salt; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork and the kale is wilted.
4 Purèe the potato mixture with a hand-held blender or in a standing blender. There will be flecks of green from the kale. Be careful not to let hot soup splatter on you. Return the soup to the pot.
5 Stir the remaining broth and the pumpkin, nutmeg, and pepper into the soup. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if desired. Add the half-and-half and heat through, but do not boil.
6 Sprinkle each steaming bowl with the reserved bacon and serve.
Photo by Melanie Jolicoeur