Sage, Bacon and Apples + Curry Paste, Fish Sauce & Coconut Milk = YUM!

Crispy Smoky Bacon

This fusion curry was born out of pure indecisiveness.  I wanted something spicy, but also traditional. I love the apple/bacon/butternut soup but craved the spiciness of pumpkin curry so I started making one type of soup and ended up making another.  Who knew the elements would blend so beautifully together. This is the perfect late September early October dish to make when pumpkins of all varieties come to the farmers market, fresh and flavorful. 

Rainy Day Fusion Pumpkin Curry

by Chef Heather Mader


5 slices thick cut bacon (Vegetarians: leave this out and love this soup!)

1 small white onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 jalapeños, de-seeded and minced

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled & minced

1/2 medium sized pumpkin, de-seeded, skinned and cubed - (4 cups approx)

8-9 green, unripe cherry tomatoes (tomatillos ok too)

1 can coconut cream

sea salt - season as you go

4 cups water

1 - 1 1/2 heaping tbsp Red Curry Paste (Mae Ploy my favorite)

1/4 cup Sweet Chili Sauce

1/4 cup dehydrated apple slices (or 1 fresh apple peeled & chopped)

2 tsp fish sauce

juice of half a squeezed lime

2 cups baby spinach leaves

fresh sage leaves

Basmati Rice, steamed

Crumbled bacon


Preheat oven to 375. On a parchment lined cookie sheet, place bacon strips on parchment and bake until crispy and fully cooked. Work on prepping veggies while bacon cooks. 

In a large dutch oven over medium heat, pour bacon grease from cooked bacon into dutch oven and add onion, carrots, celery, jalapeños, ginger, cherry tomatoes and some sea salt and fry until onions are golden and tomatoes have popped. Smash tomatoes with a fork,  then stir in pumpkin pieces, coconut cream and curry paste. Work curry paste into coconut cream until all the lumps are gone. Add apple pieces, water, fish sauce, lime juice and sweet chili sauce. Continue cooking over medium low heat, adding salt and adjusting seasonings to achieve balance. 

You are looking for a blend of Hot, Sour, Salty and Sweet in perfect balance with each other. 

Continue cooking until pumpkin is soft, and curry broth has reduced and will coat the back of a spoon, then stir in 2 cups baby spinach leaves to wilt just before serving. 

To serve:  serve in a shallow bowl with steamed rice, sage and some crumbled bacon for garnish.