Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Being out of work isn't so bad...



... I have more time to cook! Today, with Joel off to another Metallica concert tonight, I made lunch. Pumpkin soup from scratch.

At the end of the fall, we got a couple gorgeous organic pumpkins from our local CSA delivery service. I roasted them, pureed them, and froze the puree so that we could enjoy pumpkin all winter when local fresh veggies aren't available.

I love making pumpkin soup, and I had this amazing recipe I found a few months ago. I tweaked it, wrote it out with my tweaks, and now I have no idea where that recipe is. I'm sure I put it somewhere for safe-keeping, but when I put something somewhere for safe-keeping, I usually end up finding it years later. So, I tried to do it from memory. Today, this soup ended up more spicy than sweet like it should be. I think part of it has to do with me not letting it cook long enough to let the spices merge. Hopefully, the leftovers tomorrow will end up tasting better once the spices mesh a bit more.

Anyway, I sauted some fresh (organic) minced onion in a little bit of butter. Then, I added the pumpkin puree, about 4 cups of organic chicken broth (chicken stock gives it a richer taste, but I didn't have any, and if you want to make it vegetarian, veggie broth or stock works wonderfully, too.) I let it cook a bit and added a bunch of stuff: Chinese 5-spice, extra cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, white pepper, kosher salt, a little bit of soy sauce, and some sherry. All of it to taste. I didn't measure anything, really... just tasted it a lot as it went. At the end, I blended it with a hand-held blender (the best purchase ever), and whisked in some skim milk. (Joel and I are trying to eat healthier, so I didn't use heavy cream, which would have made it a richer, smoother soup, and I highly recommend it if you're not on a diet.)

If I find my "real" recipe, I'll make it again and post the right list of ingredients if you want a sweeter soup. This one would have tasted better--sweeter--if I would have added an apple to the broth (didn't have any). I would highly recommend it, though, if you try to replicate this recipe.

One day this week I'm hoping to break out my mom's famous cashew chicken recipe, and once I do, I'll post the results.

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