Make a spicy pumpkin soup with bacon, using a fresh pumpkin from your garden. When pumpkins are out of season, you can use canned pumpkin from the store. Spicy pumpkin soup can be served as an appetizer to complement any dinner or lunch entree. The recipe makes six to eight servings.
Cut the top off the fresh garden pumpkin (if not using canned pumpkin). Remove the stringy pieces and seeds. Cut the pumpkin shell in half. Peel the flesh off the sides and bottom of the pumpkin. Mash the pumpkin flesh with a potato masher until you have 4 1/2 cups.
Chop and dice 2 cups of onion, 1 cup of carrot and 1 cup of celery.
Cook bacon in a 5-qt. pot (set aside a cover for later). Remove cooked bacon from pan and drain on paper towel. Cut up bacon into small pieces. Keep the bacon drippings in the pot.
Add the celery, carrot and onion to the bacon drippings. Cook on medium heat for one minute. Add the pumpkin and continue cooking, stirring occasionally for an additional 15 minutes or until the pumpkin gets darker in color.
Add the cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, brown sugar, water, broth of choice and white wine to the pot. Turn heat to medium high and continue stirring. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover the pot leaving the cover slightly ajar to release steam. Simmer the soup for one hour or until the soup is reduced to one quarter allowing 3/4 of the soup to evaporate.
Taste the soup after one hour and adjust spices if necessary. If you want very spicy, you can add a dash more chili powder and cayenne. Turn off the heat and add the butter and heavy cream. Stir to mix and add the bacon pieces. Serve the soup in soup bowls.