There are an abundance of pumpkins at the markets, local grocers and even corner stores this time of year. Portuguese style pumpkin soup is a great way to warm and nourish your family with this bright coloured squash.
Pumpkin and sweet potatoes are a perfect balance to the to the favourite Azorean seasonings of cinnamon, all spice, and cumin. Sometimes I like to serve the soup with bite size chunks of vegetables and meat instead of pureeing. * Freeze leftovers.
- 4 oz (120 g) chourico unchopped
- 8 oz (240 g) lean bacon or pork hock, unchopped
- 1 large onion, halved
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 10 cups (2.5 L) chicken stock
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 small pumpkin (about 4 lb/1.8 kg)
- Two 1-inch (2.5 cm) cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp (5mL) whole allspice
- 2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
- Pinch fine salt
- Ground cinnamon, for garnish
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine the chourico, bacon, onion, garlic and stock. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes. Skim off all scum.
- Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and quarter. Cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and skin, and cut into large cubes. Add the vegetables, cinnamon sticks, allspice, cumin, and salt to the saucepan. Simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes, just until vegetables are tender. Discard the cinnamon and allspice. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chourico and bacon, and chop the meat into bite-sized pieces; set aside and keep warm.
- Transfer the pumpkin mixture to a food processor or blender and puree in batches, if necessary, until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and heat through. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt if necessary. Ladle into soup bowls. Serve with reserved chourico and bacon on the side. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.