Fennel and Cinnamon Pumpkin Soup

Fennel cinnamon pumpkin soup 1

Righto. So it’s autumn here in the Land Down Under.
Being a new migrant from sunny Queensland to cool Melbourne is taking some adjusting.
What started as a beautiful clear blue skies day with a top of 18 deg C, turned rather cool with rain and wind.
Even through my Burberry, 2 layers of tops and jeans the cold still managed to make it to my bone marrow.

On days like these, a hearty bowl of deliciously warming soup is what is needed.

And so I decided to make a pot of pumpkin soup.
I love soup. All types of soup. But pumpkin soup is definitely up there in my top 5 favourites.
However unlike a traditional soup, I do not use stock (store bought is packed with salt, and whilst salt is important, we get more than we need from bread, cheese and tinned fish. Homemade stock is great. But if not use water. You can still get stack loads of flavour in with other ingredients.

I have a bulb of fresh fennel and a chunk of pumpkin in my fridge.

Considering my background as a professional taste tester (yes folks I actually got paid to taste test food), I guess it would
be fair to say I have a pretty good appreciation of flavours that go well together.
So I decided to formulate a fennel-pumpkin soup.

Fresh fennel has quite a strong citrus flavour. It is a bit tart, but not unpleasant. Like most vegetables it isn’t sweet, and lends well to savoury dishes. I also added cinnamon as A) cinnamon improved the flavour of pumpkin; b) cinnamon and fennel are the most outlandish flavour combination that works amazingly; and C) cinnamon helps to control blood glucose levels – i.e. it contributes to satiety :-). Plus it tastes yummy.

You’re going to love this recipe.
It is super delish.
Super low fat. But super tasty.
A well balanced combination of flavour, texture and colour that is jam packed with antioxidants, polyphenols and fibre.

This recipe is designed for 2 serves – double it to feed 4, etc.

Ingredients:
4 cups diced pumpkin
3 cups water
1 tblsp canola oil
1/4 cup finely sliced fennel
1/2 a large Spanish onion, finely diced
1/2 a brown onion
4 cloves garlic
1 large stalk celery finely sliced.
3 lean pieces of short cut bacon (all fat, rind removed), diced (reserve 1 tblsp of diced bacon)
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tblsp creamed honey (or 1 tblsp normal honey)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander
1/2 tsp salt
fresh cracked pepper

In a deep saucepan boil pumpkin and water until tender.
Once tender, puree until smooth (use a stick mixer, blender or Thermomix if you have one).
In a non-stick fry pan heat oil on medium-high heat.
Add cumin seeds and cook for about ~1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Add onion and saute til slightly soft.
Add garlic, fennel, celery and bacon.
Saute for ~ 3 minutes stirring constantly. Add 1/4 cup water and cover with a lid, cook for 3-4 minutes.
Remove lid and allow water to evaporate.
Fennel and celery should be softened by now.
Add fennel mix to pureed pumpkin.
Add honey, cinnamon, salt, pepper and coriander.
Stir well.
In the same fry pan, lightly dry fry the reserved bacon.

Serve soup with a dollop of low fat/no fat Greek yoghurt, reserved bacon and a side salad + 1/2 a wholegrain sourdough bagel.

Yum yum yum.

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