Pumpkin and Carrot Soup with Crispy Pancetta and Fried Sage


Note. This soup can be made in advance if needed. It always tastes better the next day too (keep leftovers in the fridge).


Ingredients

Serves 6


2 lbs / 900 gr pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, cut into ½-inch pieces

1 lbs / 453 gr carrots, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

4 cups / 1 lt vegetable stock

2 cups / 500 ml water

Salt and pepper to taste


6 oz. / 170 gr pancetta, diced (if you can’t find pancetta, use good-quality bacon)

Handful sage leaves


Directions


Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and place a rack in the middle.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place pumpkin and carrot pieces on the lined baking sheet. Drizzle over 2 tablespoons of oil and toss to coat.

Roast for 30-35 minutes or until golden and tender.

In the meantime, heat remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Add onion, a pinch of salt and cook, stirring every now and then for 15 minutes, until soft and translucent.

Add garlic, mustard seeds. coriander, cumin and turmeric. Cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant (and mustard seeds start to pop).

Add roasted pumpkin and carrot pieces and give a good stir. Add vegetable stock, water, and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool for 15 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth (alternatively transfer the pumpkin mixture in batches to the jug of a blender). Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Add more stock if needed to reach the desired consistency.

Before serving, in a nonstick fry pan over medium heat, cook the pancetta, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered and the pancetta is browned and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.

Add sage leaves to the frying pan and fry in the rendered pancetta fat for 1 minute, until crispy. Transfer the fried sage pancetta to the paper towel-lined plate.

Divide soup among soup bowl, top with pancetta, fried sage and serve.