Taste: Pumpkin Apple Soup

When I was a senior in college, a huge part of my academic year was dedicated to planning and executing a theme dinner along with 6 of my teammates to complete our Hospitality and Tourism Management Degree. The evening was themed The Wondrous World of Willy Wonka–everything from the decor, to the entertainment and even the food was Wonka themed. So much planning went into this dinner, and rightly so because 200 of our closest friends and family attended this 5 course meal & event. It was a ton of work but so much fun to prepare.

All of my teammates were amazingly creative. Mitch and Cait were in charge of finding and creating the recipes. Our second course of the meal was called “Augustus Gloop’s Pumpkin Soup”. This soup is creamy and savory with big pumpkin flavors. It also has an apple bacon compote that adds a sweet, cinnamon touch along with a salty bacon crunch that takes this dish to a whole ‘nother level.

I actually hadn’t had this soup since my theme dinner 4 1/2 years ago, but I began to crave it as I thought about fall flavors this season, so last week I made the soup for myself. It’s actually quite simple to make, doesn’t take all that long and is even better tasting than I remember. This week was crazy busy for us so we ate this soup for at least 3 meals and not once did I get tired of it. I think because the soup is not just pumpkin based but also has a lot of apple flavor, it becomes more than just a one note symphony if you know what I mean.

So, go get yourself some of the best fall ingredients of the season and enjoy this fall soup!

Pumpkin Apple Soup
Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:
3 cups of canned pumpkin
1 cup of apple cider
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cups apples, peeled and diced- approximately 2 large apples
2 tbs butter
1 tbs flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 cups vegetable stock
Salt & pepper to taste 

Directions:
1. In a large sauce pan, saute apples and onion in butter until tender. About 5 minutes.
2. Stir in flour until blended then whisk in vegetable stock.
3. Add pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 25 minutes.
5. Cool slightly.
6. Pour into a blender, cover and process soup until smooth.
7. Pour back into sauce pan and stir in Apple cider, cream and salt and pepper to taste.

Apple- Bacon Compote
Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups apples, peeled and diced- approximately 2 large apples
2 tbs butter
1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon, approximately 4 bacon slices
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbs brown sugar
Directions:
1. Saute bacon in a skillet until crispy and then set aside.
2. In a clean pan, saute diced apples, butter, cinnamon and brown sugar until soft.
3. Crumble bacon and combine with Apple mixture to create compote.
4. Place 1 tablespoon of compote into the center of each bowl and pour soup around the compote into the bowl before serving.
And there you have it–autumn in a bowl!

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