Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pumpkin and fennel + bacon

  • Roast a fennel bulb and a big tranche of pumpkin, all in pieces, with olive oil and salt.
  • While it's cooking, take your anger out on an onion. Slice it and fry it viciously in oil with fennel seeds and a brave dose of cumin. It should colour, otherwise you are not angry enough.
  • Add your softened, roasted vegetables and some stock to the onion, bring to the boil then simmer for ten to twenty minutes, depending on your level of patience.
  • Whiz it. Season. Add crispy bacon.

What did it taste like? Weird. I tried to be clever and added honey to my bacon to reflect the sweet/savoury theme of the soup. Alas, it went chewy and did not complement the flavour of the soup. It would have worked amazingly, had I only been in an parallel universe. The soup itself was good.

Tip: Don't be afraid of fennel. Have lots of pumpkin as backup in case the fennel gets a bit self-important. If you want to try adding bacon, don't do what I did. Use bacon rashers, get them crispy then crumble on top with a dollop of crème fraîche. I think that would work. I'll try it again one day and get back to you.

Update: I tried the above suggestion and it didn't really work. Have I really found the only food that bacon can't make better?


  1. Bonjour Madame la Dragonne de la Soupe, this soup is the next one for me to try, but you seemed to have some doubts about it. Is it just the use of bacon which turned you into a depressive jelly and gave you nightmares, or are there other traps to avoid? You could turn this soup into a horror movie... "The Revenge of the Crispy Bacon".

    1. I think it was just the bacon, but it might have been my temper too; anger is not a good ingredient for soup. By the time I'd finished faffing and photographing, it was also tepid, so that probably didn't help either. Make some lovely croûtons so at least if the soup turns out bad you can have buttery cubed toast for dinner instead. And keep the bacon as far away from it all as possible. Good luck!

    2. Hi Denise, I ended up doing the recipe as described, and it turned out better than I was expecting. I did use bacon as a garnish, and although it was not a perfect match, it didn't go too badly at all. But I was not angry when I made this soup, so maybe this made a difference! Another time I might try grating and frying a bit of pumpkin until crispy, like you did with the topinambour, 'cos that was ingenious.