This creamy, comforting pumpkin soup is the ideal winter warmer lunch. Serve with glazed bacon and toasted maple pumpkin seeds and a swirl of cream.
1large white onion, diced(£0.11)
3carrots, roughly chopped into rounds(£0.29)
1.5kgpumpkin, peeled, chopped into cubes and seeds removed/reserved (£1.50)
Bunch of fresh thyme(£0.50)
1tbspolive oil, plus 1 tsp
1.2litre chicken stock
Salt & Pepper
Start by adding the onion, half of the fresh thyme (removed from the stem), half of the bacon lardons and carrot into a large saucepan with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and gently fry until the onion is translucent.
After this time, add the cubed pumpkin and chicken stock into the pan. Place the remaining thyme (still on the stem) on top of the soup mix. Bring up to a low simmer for around 25 minutes.
During this time, add the other half of the bacon lardons to a non-stick frying pan with a tsp of olive oil on a low heat. The fat from the lardons will render, meaning there is less need for lots of oil to fry. Once the bacon starts to get crispy, add the pumpkin seeds and paprika into the pan.
Continue to fry both the bacon and pumpkin seeds for around 10 minutes before adding the seeds/bacon mix to a small baking tray. Add the maple syrup at this stage, stirring to coat and pop in the oven for 10 minutes.
After removing the thyme stems, blend the soup with a hand blender until you reach a smooth consistency. You can either stir the cream into the soup at this stage or serve individually with each portion (like the swirl in the pic). Garnish the soup with the maple bacon and pumpkin seeds and season with some more black pepper. If the thyme is soft, add a few sprigs on top of the portion for added flavour. Season with salt & pepper and enjoy!