i’ve been chewing on the idea of sponsored posts, and i’ve been praying for opportunities to partner with companies that want to promote concepts that are important to us. when we had the opportunity to work with vanity fair napkins on their take back the table campaign, we knew we would love promoting the idea of families spending more time together around the table. we jumped in with both feet and made our first video together!
as we drove to the beach, i said to my girl, “i need an autumn-y recipe. i’m thinking pumpkin soup. wonder if it would be good with goat cheese in it?” she said, “how about topping it with candied bacon?” i answered (thinking i was brilliant and oh-so-original), “and what about a pop of brightness with pomegranate seeds on top?!” um, yes. forget the beach. come on, autumn!!
however, since we were first creating this recipe mid-july, i found there were no pomegranate seeds. no pumpkin. sigh. our original version instead has butternut squash (because yes, i already have this kale and butternut recipe here and this one with butternut in chili) but now that autumn is arrived, i WILL have my pomegranate seeds, darn it. and i’m trying this again, but as pumpkin soup. yes?
roasting the vegetables gives them a deeper flavor, and it’s a lot easier than any other cooking method. while they’re roasting, sit down and have a sip of tea and enjoy a few minutes of quiet in your day!
of course, who doesn’t love soups in the fall and winter? if you like, set some aside and warm up for breakfast (i know, i’m odd, but i love savories for breakfast) or lunch tomorrow.
goat cheese and pumpkin soup with kale and maple bacon
this soup is tangy and creamy and is set off by a topping of crispy maple candied bacon.
Author: angela sackett | dancing with my father
Recipe type: soup
Serves: 4-6 servings
1 medium pumpkin, peeled and cut into cubes
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 onions, peeled and quartered
3 cups all natural chicken or vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup olive or walnut oil
2 cups fresh baby kale
5 ounces goat cheese
1 pound bacon
1 tablespoon maple sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; drizzle with olive or walnut oil.
Place pumpkin, onion, and thyme on prepared baking sheet.
Drizzle with additional oil and roast at 425 degrees for about 35 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Line a second rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out bacon slices.
Sprinkle bacon with maple sugar and place in preheated oven.
When bacon is crisp, remove from oven and set aside.
When vegetables are golden and beginning to brown, remove from oven.
In a large stock pot, bring broth to a simmer.
Add roasted vegetables, thyme leaves stripped from sprigs, and goat cheese in two batches, blending each time with a hand-held immersion blender.
(Alternatively, combine in small batches in a high-speed blender.)
After blending, gently stir kale into soup.
To serve, top with a slice of candied bacon.
i’m thinking this recipe would be best served with this insanely warm and buttery grain-free sourdough bread, scented with orange. you agree?
(after thinking we were so original, imagine my surprise when i found this yum-mazing recipe from life as a strawberry? we must be kindred spirits… go say hi, and give it a try too! then come back and let me know which is your fave, and why!!)
the day was long, but excitement over our shared project fueled us through hours of chopping, stirring, glazing, staging, styling, lighting, and shooting. at the end of it all, my friend lauren casually mentioned, “oh! there’s a new bakery with gluten-free offerings in st. pete! you should go by!” gluten free st. petersburg, my old stomping grounds? i had my brunch plans for the following day.
the little storefront, cleverly nestled next to my old favorite health-foods store, was bustling with customers, filled with the sound of the milk frother on the espresso machine and the aromas of both sweet and savory offerings. gazing somewhat childishly at the marble-and-glass display, i asked the owner, “what, exactly, is gluten free here?”
(understand: the platters and racks were brimming with flaky pastries and baked goods like these ones, which reminded me of this recipe i created a while back, and which i tasted after the proud baker insisted i take it as his gift.)
“i think i’ll have a latte,” i said. “do you have almond milk?” the barista gleefully described the house-made, pressed-that-morning, organic almond milk. she asked for my feedback, as they’d been tweaking the recipe. um, well, wow. so my sweet friend and i indulged in sweets and better, deep thoughts and wise words (mostly hers, the last), me thankful that i could do so and know i was eating “safe” for my body.
teddy, the owner, a new york native, was gregarious and still humble as he told me he’d been longing to open a gluten-free restaurant for decades. “my dad thought i was crazy,” he said. “what language is this – what is gluten-free?” but he doggedly pursued his passion (i’m encouraged for my own dreams), and the result is near-magical.
i am the tiniest bit embarrassed (well, not really), to admit that i returned the next day with another pair of heart-friends, and we shared a feast for lunch. crisp-bread pizza with gooey-warm cheese and melty tomatoes, pulled barbecued duck with a bright herb-y salad, and a ridiculous finish of an affogato… buddy brew espresso poured over house-made gelato; no need for dinner after that.
a few days home in nj has me both longing for the food and the fun experience, and at the same time thankful that it’s not just down the street. my waistline might not could handle it.
do you have a favorite local spot that’s full of passion and flavor?