2012-09-24

Pumpkin Season!~

Autumn means a lot of things to different people.  Apple pie. Crunchy leaves. Crisp air. Baking. Tea. Mums. More time cozying up inside with a good book. Pumpkins. Halloween. Mabon. Thanksgiving. Food. Sweaters. Lolita coats. Scarves. Boots. Decorating. Photography.

It means a lot of things for me. On the 22nd, it was the Autumn Equinox. Mabon to us pagans. It's our....thanksgiving celebration I suppose. The second harvest festival. How did I celebrate? Why, by eating Mom's homemade apple crisp. And it was delicious!

But pumpkin is very important to me this season because I love the taste of pumpkin and I love it so many ways. Right now Starbuck's has their lovely Pumpkin Spice coffee circulating the globe. Heck, you can probably even buy pumpkin spice for coffee at the grocery store.

But pumpkin can be utilized in so many ways, and here are some of them:




Spicy Pumpkin Soup Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3 (15 oz) cans 100 percent pumpkin or 6 cups of chopped roasted pumpkin*
  • 5 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian option)**
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
*To make pumpkin purée, cut a sugar pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on a tin-foil lined baking pan. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don't use for future use.
**If cooking gluten-free, use gluten-free broth.

METHOD

1 Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add spices and stir for a minute more.
2 Add pumpkin and 5 cups of chicken broth; blend well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
3 Transfer soup, in batches, to a blender or food processor. Cover tightly and blend until smooth. Return soup to saucepan.
4 With the soup on low heat, add brown sugar and mix. Slowly add milk while stirring to incorporate. Add cream. Adjust seasonings to taste. If a little too spicy, add more cream to cool it down. You might want to add a teaspoon of salt.
Serve in individual bowls. Sprinkle the top of each with toasted pumpkin seeds.
Yield: Serves 8.

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