Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Peanut Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin is such a wonderful vegetable! It grows well in this area, it is highly nutritious and keeps well without any special conditions! It is a shame that we don't use this vegetable as much as it deserves to. I personally have decided to give it more attention and try out different ways of eating pumpkin. Here's the first pumpkin soup recipe I've tried.

We tested out this recipe over thanksgiving. It made a big pot of soup and I was not completely satisfied with the taste so I doctored it up a bit and will post my additions at the end of the recipe. I have to say mixing a spoonful of sour cream in your bowl of soup makes it pretty yummy! I heard some praise from those who were already accustomed to pumpkin soup. I think I'll be making it again and play with ingredients more in the future!
Sorry that I don't have a picture to add right now... maybe later.

4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 cups cooked and pureed pumpkin 
(we roasted a small sliced up pumpkin in the oven at 350' F)
2 cups cooked pureed sweet potato
1 cup SMOOTH peanut butter
6 cups Chicken stock
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
fresh chives and sour cream for garnish

I added a little curry for taste and some heavy whipping cream at the very end (just don't let it boil hard with the cream in the soup - I think half and half will work too). I also added a bit of a spice mix that Eddie and Angela from the Wet Dog Glass gave us - THANK YOU GUYS! - it has a certain sweetness to it - with cloves and cayenne pepper and paprika ( and other things) in it... so be brave and experiment with spices. I wonder what pumpkin spice mix would do?

1. Melt butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the pumpkin, sweet potato and peanut butter.
2. Add the stock, pepper and salt and stir well until smooth. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add cream and spice if you wish and stir well.
3. Before serving, garnish the soup with Chives and sour cream.

Happy Eating!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sweet Potato Shiitake Mushroom Chowder

Chowder base:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 medium yellow onion
2 gloves garlic, chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes, cooked peeled and pureed (cook the potatoes in the oven at 425 for 1 hour until soft)
1 teaspoon of salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup of dry white wine
3 cups of chicken broth

After baking potatoes, remove the skin and put them in a blender or food processor along with 1/2 cup of dry white wine. Blend until the potatoes turn to a puree. Put butter, onions and garlic in a medium saucepan and cook until the onions are clear. Add the potato/wine puree to the onions and stir the mixture for about 5 minutes until the onions and garlic are mixed into the puree. Next, add 3 cups of chicken broth and the salt and pepper. Let it cook on a medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain the mixture into a medium sized pot.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium sweet potato peeled and diced
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon of salt and ground pepper
1 cup dry white wine
4 slices of maple and brown sugar cured bacon
2 tablespoons of honey
3.5 ounces of shiitake mushrooms chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves

Melt the butter in a medium pan and add the diced sweet potato. Heat until almost cooked thorough, then add the brown sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the salt and pepper and let simmer. Cook bacon, cut it up and add. Cut up your mushrooms and cook them in a pan with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil for about five minutes, then add wine. Bring that to a boil for about five minutes, and add to chouwder base. Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and bring to a boil.  Place chowder in a bowl, sprinkle with your fresh tarragon and serve. This recipe should serve 4.