This is a pretty straight forward, budget friendly soup. Not my favorite I’ve ever had from the site it’s originally from, but solid enough. The spices on this are super light, and I would recommend experimenting with them significantly. As is, this didn’t make too much of an impression on me.

Curried Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup
Makes enough soup for a quart container and a little more

Ingredients

  • 1 T olive oil
  • half of an onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minimum, minced
  • 1 T fresh ginger, grated (tip in recipe)
  • 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 1 c dry red lentils
  • 6 c vegetable stock
  • 1 T curry powder
  • sea salt

Heat your olive oil over medium heat, and add the diced onion, minced garlic, and grated ginger. To make it as easy as possible to grate the ginger (and what I’ve found gets the best flavor in recipes) is to freeze the whole root, and whenever you need it, take it out and grate it straight into the pot. Still fresh (even though the root’s been frozen, the grated ginger will warm up in the cooking process), and has even made recipes taste better. Saute until the onion is soft and transparent.

Then, add the pumpkin, lentils, veggie stock, and curry powder. Stir to combine, cover with a lid, and bring the heat to medium-high to bring the soup to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low and bring the soup down to a simmer, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring here and there. After 20 minutes, the lentils should be soft, and the soup should have thickened a bit.

Taste it and add sea salt and more curry powder to your personal taste, and enjoy!

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So, Nintendo posted this recipe a while ago on Twitter for Twilight Princess’ HD rerelease, and I decided to give this a try. Besides being a recipe from a video game, this combines two of my favorite flavors – pumpkin and goat cheese. The resulting soup is pretty damn awesome, and definitely a thing I would recommend making. (This version leaves out the fish, but tbh, I’m pretty okay with that, as I’m really not sure what that would’ve done to this.) (I also held back the celery in my version, as I’m not that big of a fan of it.)

Yeto’s Pumpkin and Cheese Soup
Makes a lot. That’s two containers’ worth of soup up there.

Ingredients

  • 2 T butter
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 qt vegetable stock
  • 29 oz pumpkin puree
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • .25 c milk plus .25 c heavy whipping cream
  • 4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled (I used closer to 5, last of the TJ’s chevre I mentioned in the previous post)
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • dash sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

In a large pot (dutch oven, or just a bigass covered pot), melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion and carrots, and saute for about five minutes, and then add your minced garlic, and saute another five minutes, until fragrant and the vegetables are soft.

Pour in your quart of vegetable stock, and bring it to a boil, stirring the soup here and there. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, and keep simmering for another ten minutes, still stirring here and there. Add in the pumpkin and cinnamon, stir well to combine, and bring back to a simmer, simmering another fifteen minutes.

If you have an immersion blender (seriously, those things are a godsends for recipes like this), just stick it in the pot and blend until you’ve got a nice smooth soup. If you don’t, stick it in a blender or food processor in batches, and do the same.  Keep the heat of the soup on low.

Stir in the milk/whipping cream combo, evaporated milk, goat cheese, and brown sugar, slowly, until the goat cheese and brown sugar has melted into the soup. Season with a bit of sea salt and fresh ground pepper, taste it, and then sit down for a long ass gaming marathon with your nice hearty bowl of soup.

 

Some nights you just need a quick, simple soup to throw on the stove, simmer, and then dig into. This definitely fits the bill. This has seven ingredients (six if you exclude one), and is done in fifteen minutes’ time. No dicing, no chopping, just pour it all in a pot, boil, simmer, and boom. Done. 

Additional ingredient notes: You can use homemade pumpkin puree if you like, but honestly, it’s easier and cheaper and saner just to find some cans at the store. The original recipe suggests adding peanut butter, and I added a cappuccino peanut butter that I think really added to the soup.

Thai Pumpkin Soup
Lasts 6 meals as a main

Ingredients

  • 2 T red curry paste
  • 2 c chicken stock (substitute vegetable stock to make vegetarian)
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 15 oz (or 1 32 oz) cans pumpkin puree
  • 2 T soy sauce (can also use fish sauce)
  • 2 T lime juice 
  • 2 T dark brown sugar
  • .25 c peanut butter (optional)

Heat a pot over medium heat, take your red curry paste, and stir till fragrant (about a minute). Then, add all the rest of your ingredients, whisk together, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for five minutes.

And then, behold!  You have your soup!  Quick, simple, and no hassle.

This, right here? This is likely going to be my base cookie ball recipe going forward.  These are the perfect blend of cookie, booze, and softness, and they taste AMAZING. And again, it involves lots of bashing of rolling pins and cookies, and one of the perennial flavors of this time of year – pumpkin spice. I used Bacardi Superior rum in this, this would likely be even better with a dark rum like Kraken. 

Pumpkin Spice Rum Balls
Makes about 20 balls

Ingredients

  • 1 box vanilla wafers, crushed
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • .5 t nutmeg
  • .5 t ground ginger
  • .5 t ground cloves
  • .25 c rum (I used Bacardi Superior, Sailor Jerry’s was recommended)
  • 2 T pumpkin puree
  • .25 c white sugar for rolling

For the vanilla wafers, again, if you have a food processor to do the work for you, fantastic. Otherwise, take a box of vanilla wafers, put them in a bag, and then beat the shit out of them with a rolling pin. Enjoy the stress relief. You will likely need it around this time of year.

Mix together the crushed vanilla wafers, powdered sugar, and spices. In a separate, smaller bowl mix together the rum and pumpkin puree. Combine in the larger bowl until the batter’s just barely combined, as in pic 4. Take small chunks of your dough, roll them into small balls, and place them on a plate to rest as you roll them all up.

Take the balls, toss them in sugar to coat, and then chill in the fridge for an hour minimum. You can eat them either chilled or at room temp; just try not to eat all of them at once.

This uses up the last of the diced pumpkin I had on hand, and let me tell you, it is a pretty spectacular dish. The original recipe has a LOT of additional bits and baubles, and some more obscure ingredients, so the version I cooked has some significant changes. If I ever find some of those ingredients, I’ll probably try again, but for now, the version I have is pretty damn good.

The one more obscure ingredient I will recommend getting is harissa – a local farmer’s market stand that specializes in peppers and spicy stuff had their own homemade version, so that was pretty easy to find for me. In case you don’t have something equivalent where you are, Smitten Kitchen has a harissa recipe that I will probably try out at some point; otherwise, try a Whole Foods or an online spice store. 

Pumpkin Chicken Tagine

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces (mine was probably closer to 2 lbs, I used chicken I had in the freezer, 2 large breasts)
  • 1 onion, diced (I used half of a large onion)
  • 1 T fresh garlic, grated
  • 1 T fresh ginger, grated 
  • .5 t ground tumeric
  • .5 t ground cinnamon
  • .5 t ground ginger
  • .5 t ground cloves
  • .5 t cayenne pepper
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 4 c pumpkin (about 2 lbs), diced
  • 2 c apples (about 3-4 apples, 1 lb), cored, peeled, and diced
  • 1 T harissa
  • 1 T honey
  • sea salt and pepper
  • (also recommended for the main recipe is .25 c dried cranberries, saffron threads and preserved lemon, I substituted a few squeezes of lemon juice for the lemon and forewent the cranberries and saffron EDIT: will probably add the cranberries back in next time I try this)
  • (additional optional items for garnish: .25 c toasted sliced almonds, 2 T chopped cilantro, .25 c yogurt, .25 c pomegranate seeds)

Heat your oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add the diced chicken, and brown lightly on all sides, and then remove and set aside. Add the diced onion and saute for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the tumeric, cinnamon, ground cloves and ginger, garlic, fresh ginger, and cayenne pepper, and saute until fragrant, about a minute. 

Add in all of your other ingredients (the pumpkin, apples, chicken, honey, harissa, salt and pepper, and chicken stock), give it a thorough stir so it all combines, and let it come to a boil, before reducing to a simmer.  Cover, and simmer for about twenty minutes, until the pumpkin is tender. 

And then, enjoy your fantastic spicy fall stew, ideally with some couscous on the side!

I tried to make this a few years ago, either just before or right around the advent of this blog. It didn’t turn out so well, because I a) didn’t have a clue what I was doing with the pumpkin, b) was still figuring out my way around the kitchen, and c) this was an earlier recipe from Brokeass Gourmet, which wasn’t always fantastic on the directions in the early days.

Now, though? I know how to peel and dice a pumpkin properly, which is honestly the big part of the effort in this recipe. The pumpkin I got originally gave me about 10 cups worth of diced pumpkin (from about five pounds of pumpkin), which is definitely more than enough for this and another recipe I’ll be using it in soon.  And the rest came together with ingredients from a beef brussel sprouts stir fry from the Plated trial I mentioned in the last post, and with stuff I already had in my pantry. Honestly, the only thing you should need to buy for this should be the pumpkin, the ginger, the beef, the coconut milk, and maybe the peppers.

The result is an amazing fall curry that I can’t wait to make again. Plus, it’s cheap!

Thai Pumpkin Beef Curry
Lasts 5 to 6 lunches as a main

Ingredients

  • 6 c peeled and cubed fresh pumpkin
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped (adjustable to taste)
  • 1 1" piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced (I used a shallot from the Plated trial)
  • .5 lb beef stew meat (I increased it to 2 lbs because I remember it not being that much, I had an additional flatiron steak from the Plated trial that I cut up and added, and I like beef besides)
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 t Thai red curry paste (I ended up increasing this to 1 T)
  • 1 T soy sauce (was probably closer to 2 T for me)
  • 2 t honey (accidentally used 2 T, whoops)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1" pieces
  • jalapeño, seeded and chopped

Preheat your oven to 375, take your pumpkin pieces and lay them out on a foil lined baking sheet, and roast them for 45 minutes, until the pumpkin is fork tender.

Twenty five minutes into the pumpkin roasting, heat your olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add your garlic, ginger, and onion, and cook for two minutes, stirring once or twice. Then, add your beef and brown lightly on all sides. 

Add in your coconut milk, curry paste, soy sauce, and honey, and stir well. You should have a red-brownish creamy sauce (mine tended a bit more towards brown). Add in your bell pepper and jalapeño, stir well, and then cover. Cook for the remaining 15 minutes or so that the pumpkin will roast, stirring here and there, as otherwise the honey will stick to the bottom of the pot. 

Once the pumpkin is done roasting, add it directly to the pot. Give the pot another good stir and then cover again, cooking for another fifteen minutes, until the beef is very, very tender.

And then, enjoy your fantastic curry!

I’ve got some recipes coming up that call for diced pumpkin! Not pureed, not roasted, just plain up diced pumpkin. As such, I decided to do a bit of a work ahead today, and dice all of that up. It turns out that there’s a neat trick to being able to peel a pumpkin’s skin off, that I have to thank deskninjastudios for telling me about. 

First off, be sure to get a pie or sugar pumpkin; you’ll get more flesh out of it, and it’s way easier to manage.  Also, do this on the floor; you’ll get a better amount of leverage, and you’ll be less likely to hurt yourself while cutting.

Use a serrated knife to cut a lid in the top of the pumpkin like you would if you were making a jack-o-lantern. Then, use the knife to cut the pumpkin into sections; the smaller you cut the sections, the easier they will peel eventually.  Once you’ve cut your sections, scoop out the stringy flesh and seeds. (If you want to, save the seeds to roast or do something else with in the future!  I didn’t here.)

Preheat your oven to 350, and turn your sections so that the flesh side is down on a foil lined sheet. Roast the sections for 45 minutes, until the skin is starting to deepen to a brownish color.  Take your sections, while still warmish, and start peeling. The skin comes off easier on the smaller sections; the larger sections will require you working it more with your fingernails, but it will still come off easier than otherwise. Spot cool it with water if you need to cool it to a workable point. 

And then, once you’ve got the skin separated, dice your pumpkin!