cooking out of my cookbooks – pumpkin soup with tempeh bacon

Today’s recipe from my cookbook collection for pumpkin soup called for bacon, but I wanted to try a meatless alternative, so here we are presenting… TEMPEH BACON! It obviously looks and feels and tastes nothing like real bacon, but it’s yummy if you just think of it as its own food and not compare it to real bacon. The liquid smoke and umami seasoning blend from Trader Joe’s help to add that savory taste when you eat it with the soup πŸ™‚ Or when you eat it on its own – no judgement – tempeh is healthy!

This warming soup recipe comes from this cool cookbook that I’ve had for years called 1 Stock, 100 Soups by Linda Doeser, as part of my “cooking from my cookbooks” challenge for myself. I have so many cookbooks that I rarely/never use and every single time I go to a book store, I want to buy like twenty more cookbooks lol! SOOO I am cooking at least one recipe from each and every one of my cookbooks before I buy a new one for my little collection!

Note: this recipe is NOT low-FODMAP-friendly. I have IBS and I just got off a whole month of the GAPS Intro Diet and I was able to eat onions on the diet protocol with no issues. So when I saw this recipe had two onions, I was like, oh no problem, I can totally do that! Nope.
And I am not going to lie… I made an epic fail when I forgot to make/get soup stock. The whole point of this cookbook! lol *shake my head in equal disappointment and amusement at myself…* One thing I feel that I must confess in this blog that is tracking my culinary quest to be able to feed myself/not make myself sick from my own cooking (why is it so hard?!) is that I cannot cook very well still. But in my own mind, I totally have the confidence to substitute ingredients that probably only an experienced cook should. So in my overconfidence bubble in the heat of the moment, standing in my tiny kitchen, I decided to compensate for the lack of vegetable stock by adding half my spice cabinet to the pot. Great idea? Not even close. What resulted is a bland-ish yet spicy soup that is saved by the tempeh bacon. It was still pretty tasty when I first made it. But alas, due to my sensitive tummy, after eating this soup the day after I cooked it, and the heat of the cayenne had multiplied by like seventy-three, I experienced a very intense and very long tummy ache. Darn you sensitive tummy! I love spicy food. It just doesn’t love me back… *whispers lovingly to a Cholula bottle…*

vegan tempeh bacon and pumpkin soup
(how it should be – using vegetable stock and not overloaded with spices)
adapted from 1 Stock, 100 Soups by Linda Doeser


– 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 2 onions, chopped
– 1 lb (5 oz / 600 g) canned unsweetened pumpkin
– pinch of nutmeg
– 1 tsp chili powder
– salt & pepper
– 5 cups vegetable soup stock
– 1 Tbs liquid smoke

– 250g tempeh block
– 1 Tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos or soy sauce or tamari
– 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1 tsp maple sugar or maple syrup
– 1 tsp liquid smoke
– 1 tsp umami seasoning blend
– 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1/2 tsp cumin
– salt & pepper – a few turns of the grinder for each
– 2 Tbsp coconut oil for frying


– Slice the tempeh in thin strips (not too thin or it will fall apart, but not too thick that it won’t become slightly crunchy when frying.)
– Whisk everything for the tempeh bacon (except the coconut oil) in a dish and leaved covered in the fridge for at least 30 min.
– Make the soup: Heat olive oil in a pot on low heat. Add the onions until softened ~ 5 min.
– Add the pumpkin, salt, pepper, nutmeg and chili powder. Stir then simmer for ~ 5 min.
– Pour in the stock and the liquid smoke and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for ~ 15 min.
– Meanwhile, cook the tempeh bacon: Melt the coconut oil in a skillet. Add the tempeh and fry for 2-3 min on each side until brown and crispy. Place on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
– Allow the soup to cool a bit, then blend with an immersion blender (or a regular blender, but be sure to cool it enough if you don’t want soup on your ceiling.)
– Ladle the pumpkin soup into bowls and top with tempeh bacon πŸ™‚

I enjoyed my vegan pumpkin soup topped with tempeh bacon alongside my freshly baked gluten free kalamata mini french bread and anchovy-garlic spread! The warm salty olive bread was so perfect to dip in the sweet/spicy pumpkin soup πŸ™‚

4 Replies to “cooking out of my cookbooks – pumpkin soup with tempeh bacon”

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