Pumpkin-Chickpea Soup with Mushroom and Crispy Pancetta

September 5, 2013 at 8:47 pm (Recipes)

Pumpkin soup is one of those recipes that everyone should have up their sleeve.  Quick and easy to prepare, it’s low cost, filling and healthy, and there are many ways you can tweak a base recipe depending on what else you have in your fridge or pantry.

Couple of tips:

  1. When preparing your veg, smaller bits = more flavour
  2. The stick blender is your friend- no more fussing around trying to ladle hot liquid into a blender and so much easier to clean.

This recipe incorporates chickpeas into the base for a thick, hearty soup that’s packed full of protein, with the addition of crispy pancetta and mushroom for a salty, meaty flavour hit.

Pumpkin Chickpea Soup - Mushroom Pancetta

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 500g Kent pumpkin, peeled, seeded and evenly diced
  • 500g sweet potato, peeled and evenly diced
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5L low salt vegetable stock (you can make this up with Vegeta or stock cubes)
  • 400g can of organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 10 medium cup mushrooms, diced
  • 6 slices pancetta, roughly chopped into small pieces
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy based saucepan over medium-high heat, add diced onion and cook for 1min until slightly translucent before adding the minced garlic and cooking for a further 30s.  (Cook the onion down first to avoid nasty burnt garlic bits.)
  2. Add the diced pumpkin and sweet potato and cook for 5mins, coating the veg in oil, until the edges are lightly browned and sticky.
  3. Add the stock and chickpeas to the saucepan, cover and bring to the boil before turning the heat down slightly and simmering for 30mins.
  4. Take the pot off the heat when the veg is falling apart and allow to cool slightly before liquifying with a stick blender.
  5. Return the pot to the stove to keep warm, adjusting the seasoning as required and adding a few turns of black pepper.
  6. Add the chopped pancetta and mushrooms to a frypan over medium-high heat, spreading the mixture across the base of the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is crisp and golden.  No need for oil as the rendered fat from the pancetta will be sufficient.
  7. Ladle the soup into 4 bowls, top with the mushroom-pancetta mix and serve with good quality, wholegrain bread.
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