Didn’t you guys know? Popcorn on soup is a thing!

Smoky Pumpkin Beer and Cheddar Potato Soup with Candied Bacon Popcorn | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Yep, just something else my mom taught me.

Again, she’s smart.

Honestly though, popcorn on soup is the BEST. I have been doing it since I was a kid. I’d stay home from school because I was “sick” and eat a bowl of chicken noodle soup for lunch with loads of salty popcorn that my mom would make in her stove-top popcorn maker. If you know my mom, than you know just what I am talking about….she’s even traveled with it before.

I know I’m weird, but she may have me beat. Just sayin.

Anyway, if it was a really good “sick” day, it would ideally be October, November or December and the fire would be lit. Mom and I would huddle up next to it with our bowls of soup, a fistful of popcorn and sparkling waters.

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Ahh, those were the days. Take me back! Or at least give me a wood burning fireplace again. Nothing beats a wood burning fire on a cold day – NOTHING. It’s truly a favorite thing in life, and I really miss having one!

Smoky Pumpkin Beer and Cheddar Potato Soup with Candied Bacon Popcorn | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

So while Mom and I enjoyed soup from a box back in the day, I am happy to say we have realized there are better soups out there. Like this smoky pumpkin beer and cheddar potato soup!

I think the first time I had pumpkin soup I was at a wedding shower for my mom’s cousin in Pennsylvania. My mom’s Aunt Debbie is actually an amazing cook and also does some catering. So of course, all of the food was gorgeous, but what stood out to me was the pumpkin soup. For one, she served the soup in cute little mini baked pumpkins, which I was SO into, but most importantly, the soup was SO smooth, creamy and delicious. I loved it!

This soup isn’t really much like Aunt Debbie’s, BUT… there is pumpkin. I’ve already done the soup in a pumpkin bowl thing, so I figured I would skip that this time around. Obviously, if you are up for it, I would totally recommend the soup in a pumpkin, such a people pleaser!

It makes everything a little better and you can’t beat that cuteness factor! 🙂

Smoky Pumpkin Beer and Cheddar Potato Soup with Candied Bacon Popcorn | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

But okay, back to THIS soup.

It’s smoky, spicy, slightly sweet, just a little cheesy and perfectly creamy, but with a crunch… thanks to that popcorn!

It was kind of a huge hit already, which lately has been hard to get from the family. I don’t know what’s going on, but I have been striking out with recipes lately. Like one after another, the fam is totally making me aware of it too. Meanies 🙁

But this soup! It was a hit – YES! I think it was the bacon though, anything with bacon always seem to be a hit with my fam.

Smoky Pumpkin Beer and Cheddar Potato Soup with Candied Bacon Popcorn | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

The soup is a combo of sweet roasted pumpkin, creamy potato and a little chipotle for spice and smokiness. I also added some cheddar cheese in there too…cause you know, there can never be enough cheese!

The fun part really comes from the popcorn though. I mean what’s not fun about popcorn? It’s everyone’s favorite movie time snack. It could really use some more attention if you ask me.

First you start by making simple candied bacon in the oven. Then along with the bacon you add pepitas. Finally, mid way through cooking, add the popcorn. That way everything gets sweet and has a super nice CRUNCH.

Love it.

Smoky Pumpkin Beer and Cheddar Potato Soup with Candied Bacon Popcorn | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I’m telling you, you need this soup on this very cold Thursday night. Like is it raining or dreary where you are? Do you NEED this where you are? Is it possibly snowing (there is a chance it might here tonight)? If it is, you most definitely NEED this. Is it sunny and 80 degrees, ahh…you maybe don’t need this, but you should probably make it anyway.

It’s gonna taste SO good, whether it’s warm or cold out.

Smoky Pumpkin Beer and Cheddar Potato Soup with Candied Bacon Popcorn | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest
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5 from 1 vote
The Recipe

Smoky Pumpkin Beer and Cheddar Potato Soup with Candied Bacon Popcorn.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 0 SERVES 4 AS A MAIN 6 AS A SIDE

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small sweet onion diced
  • 1 potato peeled + diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups of your favorite pumpkin beer
  • 2 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree*
  • 1-2 in chipotle chilies adobo minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream or whole milk
  • 1 cup smoked gouda shredded
  • 1 cup smoked cheddar shredded

Popcorn

  • 4 slices thick cut smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pepitas shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4-5 cups air or stove popped popcorn
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat, add the butter to melt. Once melted, add the onion and cook until it begins to caramelize, about 8 minutes. Add the potato + garlic and continue cooking another 5 minutes or until the potato is tender. Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and cook 1 minute, stirring the flour around so it coats the veggies. Season lightly with salt + pepper.
  2. Slowly pour in the beer + broth, stir often to avoid any clumps from forming. Stir in the pumpkin puree, chipotle chiles, thyme, smoked paprika and curry powder. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes or until the potato is completely soft. If desired, transfer the soup to a blender and puree until completely smooth.
  3. Stir in the heavy cream, smoked gouda and smoked cheddar, cook over low heat until the cheese is fully melted. If the soup is too thick for your liking, thin with more chicken broth.
  4. Divide the soup among bowls and top with popcorn and more cheese if desired. Enjoy!

Popcorn

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Spread the bacon and pepitas out on the baking sheet and toss well with the brown sugar. Spread them into an even layer.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes and then remove from the oven and add the popcorn, toss the mixture together very well, making sure the bacon grease and brown sugar coat the popcorn. If the mixture seems dry, add 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil. Place back in the oven and continue baking another 10-15 minutes, tossing once throughout cooking until the bacon is crisp. Keep in mind that the bacon will crisp up a bit more once it's out of the oven. Remove from the oven and serve atop the soup!
Smoky Pumpkin Beer and Cheddar Potato Soup with Candied Bacon Popcorn | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Plus, the popcorn doubles as a little midnight snack. YES!

PS. If any of you are on Snapchat, be sure to check out the Food Network snapchat because guess who is on there today?!?! ME!! I am showing everyone how to make some seriously good fall eats, so check it out! 🙂