Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Pancetta

Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Pancetta
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Ingredients:

6 cups pumpkin, seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups thinly sliced fennel
2 cups thinly sliced leeks cleaned
2 thick ¼ inch pieces pancetta diced very small
½ cup white wine
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 teaspoons fennel seed
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
3-4 cups stock, vegetable or chicken

You'll Need:

Spice grinder
Blender or food processor

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 f.
2. Coat the pumpkin with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Using a parchment lined sheet pan, place the pumpkin in one layer and roast for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until a knife inserts easily. Set aside to cool. Peel and evenly slice the pumpkin into 3 inch chunks.
4. In a large skillet, melt butter and add the pancetta. Cook until crisp and then remove and reserve the pancetta.
5. In the same skillet, add the fennel and leeks and sauté until soft. Add ginger and garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until soft. Add wine to the skillet and cook for approximately 3 minutes. Set aside.
6. In a small skillet, toast the fennel seeds until fragrant, approximately 5 minutes. Remove and grind in a spice grinder.
7. Add the ground fennel seeds along with the cardamom to the fennel and leek mixture and stir.
8. Add the pumpkin mixture and vegetable or chicken stock.
9. Puree the mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth.
10. Keep warm and serve with the reserved pancetta.

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