Welcome to Day One of Pumpkin Week on The Pajama Chef!
Are you a matchy-matchy, “together” sort of person? I am. I love coordination and rules, such as not mixing black and brown, or brown with navy, or navy with black. Those color combinations just drive me nuts! In college, one of my sorority sisters and I would “argue” over outfit choices [oooh that sounds very stereotypical sorority girl-esque right there… I promise that sororities at my small liberal arts college were NOT like the movies!]. Anyway, it became a joking matter between us and every so often, I’ll receive a text from her saying, “wearing navy flats with black pants!” or the like. Fun times, fun times.
Despite my tendencies towards coordination, with food, I like to step away from the ordinary and the expected at times. Sometimes I just love finding ways to blend together the old and the new, the familiar and the unknown into a comfortable mix of happiness. Pumpkin and soup don’t necessarily go together in my book, but in this soup, they are a match made in heaven!
I made Pumpkin Soup for the first time on Halloween weekend last year and I think it is going to be a fall tradition for us now. This soup is truly a taste of fall… creamy, comforting, and just bold enough to stand out from your average creamy savory squash dish. [Can you say that five times fast? Whew!] Plus, it smells a-m-a-z-ing as it simmers away on the stovetop. Add a side salad, some bread and butter, and some homemade croutons on top for a bit of crunch and you have yourself one great meal!
from a recipe that I cut out from the newspaper awhile ago…
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped [or 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley]
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons half and half
- salt and pepper [to taste]
In a medium pot, combine all ingredients except half and half; stir to combine. Simmer for about 30 minutes; remove from heat and let cool. Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth–or better yet, use an immersion blender, then return to pot and simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Stir in half and half and serve with homemade croutons — see recipe below.
Do not puree hot soup! It will end poorly and could hurt you and/or your blender/food processor! So give yourself adequate time and allow the soup to cool first. If you need to, stick the whole pot in the fridge or a sink full of ice water for a little bit to cool it down enough to blend.
- 2 slices whole wheat bread, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- olive oil or cooking spray
- salt and pepper
- dried parsley
- parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and prepare a rimmed baking sheet by spraying with cooking spray or greasing with a bit of olive oil. In a bowl, combine bread cubes with a drizzling of olive oil or a generous spraying with cooking spray. Add in salt, pepper, and parsley [or other herbs/spices] to taste. I usually start small and work my way up. Toss to coat. Spread on prepared baking sheet in a single layer, shake on a bit of parmesan, and bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway, until crispy and golden brown. Serve with soup or salad.
Question of the Day: Are you into coordination, or are you more free-spirited? Or are you like me and vary based on the category [clothes vs. food]?