Pumpkin & Pea Soup with Salted Pigtails

>> Thursday 10 November 2011

I'm back. I had a great time in Florida and got the chance to meet and chat with some wonderful folks. It is so easy at times to think that you are working in a vacuum, especially when a lot of it is online. Sure, people leave comments and you chat via the social network sites and email, but there is simply no substitution for the live human interaction when you can look at facial expressions, share a laugh and engage in a conversation in a way that is not limited by number of words to type, and, you can delve deeper into an issue in just a couple of minutes. Of course there is that amazing feeling when you just "click" with someone like you've been friends all your life. Those are some of the encounters I had last weekend. Thanks! An added bonus is that all the books that were taken to the two events were sold out. Thanks to The Bishops' High School Alumni Association, (Florida) Chapter and to The South Regional Broward College Library!

As soon as I download the photographs, I'll share them with you.

On to this season's best - again. Yep, pumpkin is still very much in season in many parts of the world. For those of you up North - Calabaza Squash. Butternut squash is a good substitute for this recipe though you may not get the richness of the colour and the natural sweetness.

Rather than using regular salt, I used salted pigtails to season this soup. It adds a lovely flavour with its cured porky-ness :) Of course if you cannot put your hands on salted pigtails then try some thick-cut pieces of bacon or pancetta.

Often when people make pumpkin soup they tend to put in heavy cream to give it body and creaminess but I urge you to try putting split peas, red lentils or split yellow moong dal instead. The combination of the pumpkin, peas and cured pork will have you going back for more. If you are serving this to company, make a large amount. Having some crusty bread on hand is not a bad idea either. Click here for the recipe.

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