Tag Archives: Pumpkin

Curried Pumpkin-Cauliflower Soup

 

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That’s right. Another pumpkin recipe. But it’s only September, and with our first real cold front coming through tomorrow, I believe it’s high time for soup to hit the household menu.

Soups are perhaps my favorite cool-weather food to prepare. They’re incredibly simple, and they’re a fantastic way to consume a variety of vegetables without having to force another forkful of cold, bitter greens into your mouth. Pumpkin, in particular, as well as plenty of other winter squashes, bring a particular savory sweetness to this soup that plays against the tingly warmth of the curry spices. The coconut milk and  cauliflower, being a common ingredients in Indian fare, tie the flavors all together with velvety richness.

 

Curried Pumpkin-Cauliflower Soup
{paleo, gluten free, vegan-optional}

2 tbsp ghee, butter, or coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated (about a thumb-sized knob)
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp salt
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
4 cups cauliflower florets
1-14 oz can pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
1-14 oz can full-fat coconut milk (about 2 cups)

In a large saucepan, melt the ghee, butter, or coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until mostly translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, garam masala, cumin, coriander and salt, and stir for a minute or two until highly fragrant.

Add the stock, cauliflower, and pumpkin puree. Bring to a boil, then lower to a steady simmer, and cook until cauliflower is soft and easily pierced with a fork.

Remove from heat, add the coconut milk. Puree the soup using an immersion blender, or by (carefully!) blending in batches in either a blender or a food processor.

 

Sprouts

Many people associate the spring with new beginnings.

Not me.

I’ve always felt that life “refreshes” in the fall.

But I’m not here to talk about life.

Okay, I am. But I really want to talk about beans.

And pumpkins. And carrots. And arugula.

Because those are some of the things I planted in my back yard at the beginning of July.

That’s right, I planted a fall garden.

Gardening this past spring has been a hopeless disaster for the entire state of Texas and several neighboring states. We didn’t really have a spring this year. The climate quickly transitioned from a bitter, frozen winter to an oppressively hot convection oven in the blink of an eye. Pair that with less than 2 inches of rainfall on record for the past 12 months and you’ve got a rancher’s/farmer’s/backyard gardener’s absolute worst nightmare. The herbs and vegetables I planted in the early “spring” have been a lovely shade of crispy brown for the past month and a half, despite vigilant watering.

But then July came, and while the daily highs still hovered around the triple digits, the wind finally ceased, making spending time out of doors less akin to suicide.

Plus, I figured we would most likely have an unusually warm autumn, so I could take advantage of the fact that 100 degree weather doesn’t really keep foliage from growing, and by the time my plants would be ready to fruit, the temperature would more than likely remain under the 90 degree tolerable limit.

I hope to keep y’all updated with my fall garden! I wasn’t sure if I would write about it, because all my other gardening attempts have turned out to be complete flops, but this one seems to actually be working!

 

Black beans + purple beans…

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Carrots…

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Uhh… this is either arugula or kale. I really don’t remember what! Note to self… LABEL MY ROWS!

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San Marzano tomatoes…

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I’m growing three different types of pumpkins. This is the Early Sugar Pie variety. It’s growing so big!…

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In total, I’m growing black beans, purple beans, snow peas, two different types of carrots, spinach, kale, arugula, San Marzano tomatoes, multi-color bell peppers, brussels sprouts, and three different types of pumpkins (Big Max, Early Sugar Pie, and Musquee de Provence).

Have you ever planted a fall garden?

A Taste of Summer

Hey everyone!

Want to know what I’ve been up to lately?

Yeah, I haven’t been posting as frequently as desired. Life happens.

For example, a big chunk of my non-work life is spent reading Harry Potter. Edgar has demanded that I must read the entire series before we see Deathly Hallows Part II. Thing is, I’m sorta behind. At the beginning of May, I was still on Chamber of Secrets. Shame on me.

Anyway, I’m now about a third of the way into Order of the Phoenix, but I’ve still got a ways to go before next weekend. Eeps! It can be done, though.

Another thing that took up our long holiday weekend was prepping for our fall garden!

We spent all of Saturday outdoors planting pumpkin seeds and digging up a chunk of yard. It’s nothing to look at right now, but the ground is at least broken so I can start planting seeds in about two weeks.

Edgar also spent the day washing his truck with a natural soap product we picked up a few weeks ago (Dr Bronner Sal Suds. Smells AMAZING). I caught him through the back window. Winking smile

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I also picked the one tomato that has yet grown on my heirloom tomato plant. It’s a late bloomer. I blame the scorching heat and arid climate.

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Edgar and I shared it. I’m not one for raw tomatoes, but this was pretty good!

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Let me share a recipe I served for our 4th cookout!

Blackberry Sun Tea!

 

First, I tossed some frozen blackberries into the bottom of a pitcher. Just enough to sort of cover the bottom. I chose frozen instead of fresh because the frozen will better release their juices when thawed.

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I filled the pitcher with water and drizzled in about 1/4 cup of agave nectar. I would have used honey but mine is crystallized and I was too impatient to deal with it. Plus, agave dissolves in cold water, unlike honey or table sugar. That alone is enough reason for me to keep it around.

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Drop in four regular-sized iced tea bags and sit in the sun for a few hours or until the color is dark.

As luck would have it, this was the first day in many, many months we weren’t being blinded by the sun. In fact, it was rather cloudy. As I was taking this picture, I felt a raindrop, so I moved the pitcher to a shaded spot. However, that drop may have been the only thing to fall from the sky in Plainview that day. Figures.

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After a few hours, take out the tea bags and give the pitcher a good stir. Then serve over ice!

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I love it because it’s very lightly sweet (just enough to take off the bitter tinge of unsweet tea), and has a subtle berry flavor. Great for a blistering hot day when you need a cold refreshment with just enough sugar to keep you functional. Winking smile

 

 

Have you ever tried sun tea?

What did you do for the 4th?

Out of Season

It is late-February and I’m already in the mood for fall.

Actually, being in the mood for fall is something that happens to me approximately 10-11 months out of the year.

With the weather becoming more temperate with the approach of spring, I can imagine the fall season more easily, but I have to pretend not to notice that there are no orange leaves scattered about or that the apple tree in our backyard is 100% bare.

But of course, nothing keeps me from eating fall-seasoned food year-round! (Well, with the possible exception of another canned pumpkin shortage, but I’m still to this day hoarding cans in my pantry to get me through the summer!) I pulled out two oldies-but-goodies (plus a newie?)for dinner and curled up in my sweats on the couch to watch Casper, because, well…a girl’s got to cope with her weird moods somehow.

 

 

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Tuscan Pumpkin-White Bean Soup.

I’ve showcased this recipe before her e on the blog. It’s a Weight Watchers recipe I fell in love with about a year ago. It’s so quick and easy that I don’t even bother looking at the recipe anymore, and the ingredients are things you could easily have on hand already. So good, and the heat feels so good on my sore throat!

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Harvest Salad.

Another recipe I’ve pulled up twice already on the blog. I skipped the squash, even though I do have some, because I was already heavy-dosing on the vitamin A with the soup. Also, the ingredients are mostly based on whatever I had on hand. No artisan blend greens? I used arugula. No pepitas? I used pistachios. No blue cheese? I used goat cheese. I did have apples, though, so that remained the same.

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No Knead Bread.

Now this is a recipe I haven’t discussed here on the blog. Even though I was getting plenty of carbohydrates from the beans, I couldn’t shake the idea of a chunk of fresh, whole grain bread served alongside to round out my harvest-time daydream. I used the recipe from the NY Times as a starting point, but I used all whole wheat flour, plus added 4 tsp of vital wheat gluten to make sure it rose better. And instead of cornmeal on the outside, I used oat bran! It turned out WONDERFUL!

 

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What’s your favorite season?

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