Pumpkin Soup

On one of the recent rainy afternoons we’ve had, I decided that my son Vincent and I should do some baking. The coolness of the afternoon hinted at the coming autumn, so I decided on a family favorite: pumpkin snickerdoodles! This is one cookie that my cake-loving husband will actually eat. The only problem with this recipe is that it only uses ½ cup pumpkin puree, leaving me with about 2/3 of a can of pumpkin puree in the fridge every time. Sometimes, I make pumpkin muffins, but this time I felt more like soup. 

I’ve made pumpkin soup before – and I’ve tried other people’s pumpkin soup – but I’ve never been completely satisfied. Either the taste or the instructions have been too complicated. I reviewed a number of recipes online, but nothing seemed to fit what I was looking for. Finally, I decided to take the elements of a few different recipes and make my own. Here’s what I came up with:

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil

½ sweet or yellow onion

1 clove garlic

2/3 can pumpkin puree

1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken or vegetable stock

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 pinch nutmeg

Cream to taste (I used about ½ cup)

Directions

Heat the oil in a soup pan over medium heat. Grate the onion and the garlic clove (use the smallest part of a box grater) and add to the hot oil. Stir and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and stir. Allow to cook 1-2 minutes. Stir in the stock, pepper, and nutmeg, and simmer for 6-8 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream. Serve immediately.

My mom and I enjoyed this fantastic soup for lunch. The onion and garlic balanced out the unique and easily overpowering taste of pumpkin. The nutmeg and pepper did nothing more than highlight the other flavors in the soup, which was exactly what I wanted.

My favorite pairing for savory pumpkin is bleu cheese, but I think I’m the only family member who will eat such a strong cheese. I do love how the sharpness of the cheese cuts through the pumpkin – and if you have crusty French bread to smear it on you’ve got a little piece of heaven. My mom decided to shred some smoked cheddar into her soup and topped it off with asiago cheese bagel pieces instead. Yum!

If you’re looking for a fresh, simple, and light lunch this fall, try this recipe!

Turkey and Vegetable Hand Pies

First, let me apologize for not posting last week. We had my nieces staying at the house and with three kids under three running around, I honestly just forgot to post!20160913_174410

Well, this pregnant lady discovered a new food aversion (to be added to pork): pie crust. *Sigh* These turkey and vegetable hand pies should have been a great dinner option for me. Flavorful sweet Italian turkey sausage and vegetables wrapped in a tender crust… it sounded great! It smelled great! My parents swear it tasted great! But I had to force down my tiny serving until I gave up and just ate left-over filling served over white rice like my son.

Before I explain my modifications, here’s the original recipe:

http://www.marthastewart.com/313340/turkey-and-vegetable-hand-pies

As I mentioned above, I replaced plain ground turkey with three links of sweet Italian sausage. I also forgot that we used the last of the onion in our veggie packets last night, so I left that out. Finally, I used left-over store bought crust from a quiche I made last week – nope, the pie crust didn’t bother me then. That meant that my hand pies were a little small and cooked a bit more quickly than the recipe directed, only about 20 minutes in the oven.

Obviously, this time around, I can’t offer a detailed, objective (as objective as something like this can be) review. However, despite the number of individual steps, the recipe is easy to follow and requires no special cooking skills. Everyone loved the hand pies, and my son and I enjoyed the filling when I put it over plain rice. I may come back to this one once Kelson baby number 2 makes his/her appearance and my food aversions disappear. Or, I may just make the filling and continue to serve it with rice!