Root Vegetable and Chicken Chowder
I know what you're thinking: if only there were more pumpkin-flavored dishes to choose from this time of year. But UNLIKE half the crap at Trader Joe's (pumpkin-flavored pita chips, pumpkin-flavored croutons, pumpkin-flavored dog treats), this is a pumpkin dish that makes sense! Thanks to the thickening power of the pumpkin puree, the soup is gluten-free, too-- and if you omit the bacon (I can't believe I JUST WROTE THAT) and the chicken, it's almost as delicious (I REALLY can't believe I just wrote that... I guess I've been reading too much Yotam Ottolenghi).
Just think...Only three weeks til gingerbread season!
2 bacon slices, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium leeks, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 pound parsnips, peeled, cut into 1/3-inch dice
3 medium carrots, peeled, cut into 1/3-inch dice
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon yellow curry powder
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 14 oz can pumpkin puree
1 14 oz can coconut milk
4 cups (or more) vegetable or chicken broth
3 cups shredded, roasted chicken (store-bought rotisserie works great!)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, basil, chives or scallions
Cook bacon in large pot over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels. Add oil to drippings in same pot; heat over medium heat. Add leeks; sauté until tender but not brown, about 7 minutes. Add parsnips, carrots, garlic, and spices; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes, then pumpkin puree-- stir to coat the puree over the vegetables. Gradually add coconut milk and 4 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender and soup thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Check the consistency-- the soup should coat the back of the spoon, but not be too thick. Add more broth if necessary, then the chooked chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
To Serve: Ladle chowder into bowls. Sprinkle with herbs and crispy bacon.