SRC: Pumpkin Coconut Soup

It’s no secret that I love pumpkin, and since it is now September, it is perfectly acceptable to bake and cook with pumpkin as much as humanly possible! Right? :) Though I must say that while I love pumpkin so so much, it’s a bit odd to use when it’s 90 degrees and 90% humidity outside. That’s why I was so excited last month when it started to get a bit chilly. See, I was assigned to Leigh’s refreshing, classy blog, Chit Chat Chomp for this month’s edition of the Secret Recipe Club, and I couldn’t get this Pumpkin Coconut Soup out of my head!

Secret Recipe Club

Leigh writes from Melbourne, Australia and her recipes and photography [and travel accounts!!] are absolutely to die for. I just have to make this Coconut Mint Syrup Cake asap. I actually planned on making it this month as well, but just ran out of time. Alas, this Pumpkin Coconut Soup is totally worth its own post.

Pumpkin Coconut Soup | thepajamachef.com

I’ve made pumpkin soup before, and have even made a pumpkin-based stew, but this soup is so unique! Aside from the usual suspects like garlic and onion, this pumpkin soup is spiced with fresh ginger, coconut milk, and shredded coconut for some warm notes. The soup is kinda Thai-reminiscent, and though it is simple and comes together in less than 20 minutes, is very sophisticated. Leigh calls it “luxurious” and I would have to agree.

Pumpkin Coconut Soup | thepajamachef.com

I should note that I took these photos before pureeing the soup with my immersion blender. At first I didn’t think that step was necessary, but after trying a few bites, realized it really was… I think it was the shredded coconut that did it. No matter though–this soup is a wonderful gateway to fall. Be sure to come back to The Pajama Chef often… more pumpkin recipes are in the works! :) Thanks, Leigh, for the first pumpkin recipe of the season. :) Absolutely delicious!

one year ago… Iced Tea with Ginger-Mint Simple Syrup
two years ago… Pumpkin Granola
three years ago… Tropical Granola

Pumpkin Coconut Soup [from Chit Chat Chomp]
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Ingredients:

  • 29 ounces pumpkin puree [or 3 cups fresh pumpkin, diced]
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 walnut sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 32 ounces vegetable or chicken stock
  • 15 ounces lite coconut milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine pumpkin, onion, garlic, ginger, coconut, and stock in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer, covered, until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Add coconut milk, then puree soup with an immersion blender, or carefully with a blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for another 3-4 minutes or until hot.

Time: 10 minutes.

Yield: 4-6 servings.

Be sure to check out other recipes from other SRC members here today too! :)

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

I know Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I hope yours was nice… but I hope you aren’t sick of pumpkin yet, because these cookies are fabulous and I just had to share them, Christmas season or not!! I’m normally not an oatmeal cookie kinda girl–give me a chocolate chip or peanut butter cookie any day, but oatmeal? Meh. Aren’t they usually the weird leftover cookies abandoned at pitchins and other events? I think it’s usually cause they contain gross raisins and are slightly salty. Raisins are only good on their own, not in baked goods. But I digress. I shouldn’t use ‘gross’ anywhere near this post, because these Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies are anything but!!Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies | The Pajama ChefDespite my apathy towards classic oatmeal cookies, when I saw this recipe last month, I was intrigued. Pumpkin? Chocolate chips? Dried cranberries? All in one cookie, that wasn’t a soft cakey cookie?? Umm, how could I say no? Especially when they bore a slight resemblance to my favorite camp breakfast? Count me in! Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies | The Pajama ChefThese Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies are seriously a dream come true. Each cookie contains the perfect flavors of fall that I l-o-v-e [in case you were unaware]: pumpkin, spice, chocolate, and cranberries… all in a guilt free breakfast-resembling package. I mean, am I right??

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies | The Pajama Chef

They are hearty, chewy, and incredibly easy to make–they just take half an hour and you probably have all the ingredients available at home anyways. I know I do, practically all the time. You best believe that these will be popping up in my kitchen year-round from now on. They are that good!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies | The Pajama ChefThe fact that there’s no oil or butter in them is only a bonus… because I’m certain that eating 5 of them at once sort of negates the health benefits. But we can pretend, right?

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies [adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction and Love From the Oven]
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla. In a larger bowl, stir together flour, oats, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice. Fold wet ingredients into the dry until just moistened–dough will be thick, but not un-stirrable. Stir in chocolate chips and cranberries.

Drop by spoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets, slightly flattening because dough does not spread much while baking. Bake for 13-14 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool on baking sheet for about 3 minutes, then remove promptly to cooling rack to cool completely.

Time: 30 minutes.

Yield: 3 dozen cookies.

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese

At the beginning of October, Ben and I were at Walmart late one Sunday night. We were coming home from a church event and desperately needed a few things for our lunches the next day. Typically I avoid Walmart like the plague, especially in this town because it’s always so busy and it stresses me out… but sometimes it just can’t be avoided. We walked past the cream cheese and I saw the Holy Grail of cream cheese: Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese. PUMPKIN SPICE!! I couldn’t believe it. I got so excited. But for reasons unbeknownst to me, I decided I would get it “later.”

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese | The Pajama ChefWhy? I’m not sure, because I’ve regretted it ever since. Especially during every one of the three visits I’ve made to Walmart since that time looking for that stinking cream cheese has been met in failure as they have been out. :( And none of the grocery stores I’ve looked in have carried it at all. :( :( :( After entering into a state of depression and realizing that I may never get to experience the glory that is Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese, I decided that something must be done. I had to make it myself!

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese | The Pajama Chef

Guess what? Though I’ve never tasted the original, I don’t miss it one bit. The four ingredient version I whipped up in a couple of minutes in my food processor is slightly sweet and is absolutely heavenly.

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese | The Pajama Chef

Opening the jar is a delightful sensory experience as the unmistakable warm fall spices just jump out, waiting to be enjoyed. Plussssss, though I can’t say this for certain, my version uses real pumpkin puree for an authentic pumpkin taste–not some combination of natural and artificial flavors. How bout just some natural flavors? Sounds good to me, for sure.

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese | The Pajama Chef

This Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese is perfect for spreading on bagels, for dipping apples or graham crackers, and for snacky spoonfuls. I suspect it would be glorious along with some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins too, but I can’t verify yet. What could be wrong with double pumpkin?? Nothing much that I can tell. I’ll need to try that ASAP. :) To make it more of a dessert spread, use a little more sugar–but I truthfully found it flavorful enough without lots of added sugar. If you make this after trying the original, do let me know how they compare, because I’m curious. From what I can tell, the original is more of a spread, and this version is slightly more airy and whipped, but that’s all I know for now. But alas… I know this is good. Really good. And for that, I am happy… even though it took several Walmart excursions to make it happen. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese [adapted from Better Homes & Gardens]
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Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened [I used Neufchâtel]
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in deep bowl and beat on high with hand mixer for 2 minutes. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer or whisk. Taste and adjust seasonings and sweetener as desired. Refrigerate for at least one hour before using for best taste, then use within a week.

Time: 10 minutes + time to chill.

Yield: ~ 1 1/2 cups.

Pumpkin Cornbread

So, Ben and I have a bad history with cornbread. Early on in our marriage, I made a 9×9 pan of cornbread and it was absolutely delicious… for days #1 and #2. But then on day #3,  things changed. I’ll spare you the details, even though it wasn’t super gross like mold or anything like that… I’m not even sure how to describe it, except to say that the cornbread just turned. Turned for the worst. It was so bad… so fast. I guess that’s how these things go  sometimes… and as a result, we’ve become suspicious about our cornbread, often fearing making it ourselves and/or eating it [even if someone else has made it!].

But THIS. THIS cornbread is nothing short of amazing.

Pumpkin Cornmeal Muffins | The Pajama Chef

Pumpkin + stone-ground blue cornmeal in muffin form=amazing. Did I just say amazing twice? Three times? Sorry, but I’m not sorry… these Pumpkin Cornbread [muffins] are simply the best!

Can we just say that pumpkin makes everything better? [Even endless election talk?] I think so! Please.

Pumpkin Cornmeal Muffins | The Pajama Chef

This cornbread is everything your typical cornbread needs to be–slightly sweet, soft, yet hearty enough to pair with a great soup or stew for dipping. Yet… this cornbread is a little different. Fall spices, pumpkin, and a hint of molasses make this cornbread incredibly flavorful and different… but not different enough for suspicious eaters [like us, the bad-experience-cornbread-eaters] to reject.

Don’t you love that?

Pumpkin Cornmeal Muffins | The Pajama Chef

Even though I initially made these for a soup night, I found myself pairing them with a good ‘ole schmear of pumpkin butter for breakfast.

Pumpkin Cornmeal Muffins | The Pajama Chef

I would never do that with regular cornbread, so I consider that a victory for sure! Enjoy. :)

Pumpkin Cornbread [from Sweet Pea's Kitchen]
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup cornmeal [I used a stone-ground blue cornmeal]
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon molasses

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease well.

In a mixing bowl, stir together flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar,  and cornmeal. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin, oil, and molasses. Gently stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then spoon into muffin cups.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes clean.

Time: 20 minutes.

Yield: 12 muffins.

Pumpkin, Kale, & Black Bean Stew

I’ve definitely been slacking on the pumpkin front this fall. I’ve made several batches of my favorite pumpkin chocolate chip muffins…. a few breakfasts of pumpkin pie baked oatmeal… and a few other treats that I’ll share about soon. But all in all, I’m not sure what my deal is: I still love pumpkin and still have been using it in recipes, but I just haven’t been blogging about it. How weird!

Well, that’s going to change. This week. Right now, in fact.

Pumpkin, Kale, & Black Bean Stew | The Pajama Chef

A couple weeks ago, I didn’t feel like the dinner I had planned on my weekly menu plan [this happens semi-often...], so I just started pulling things out of the fridge and pantry and put together this quick Pumpkin, Kale, & Black Bean Stew. I wasn’t sure if it would be blog-worthy, but once I took a bite, I was smitten!

Pumpkin, Kale, & Black Bean Stew | The Pajama Chef

This thick stew’s pumpkin base is the perfect canvas for flavorful, healthy black beans, stewed tomatoes, and kale. For non-pumpkin lovers, the pumpkin flavor simply serves as a base for hearty ingredients. But for pumpkin lovers, just a pinch of pumpkin pie spice[!!!] is the secret ingredient to lasting pumpkin love! And boy, do I love pumpkin. This stew comes together in a flash, and is so flavorful that it doesn’t need any typical soup toppings [cheese, sour cream, etc.]. However, to make it a little more indulgent, I stirred in a bit of half and half at the very end. Great decision! And an even better decision on my part [and yours!] would be to make this stew again asap. It is that good. :) Enjoy!!

Pumpkin, Kale, & Black Bean Stew
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Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 [15 ounce] can stewed tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 leaves kale, chopped [about 2 loosely packed cups]
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
  • 2 tablespoons half and half

Directions:

In a stock pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and season with black pepper. Saute for about 5-6 minutes or until soft and translucent. Next, add chicken broth, pumpkin, black beans, tomatoes, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir until combined, then cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Lastly, add kale and sage, and cook for another minute or two. Stir in half and half and serve immediately.

Time: 30 minutes.

Yield: 4-6 servings.