Archive | October 2013

Pumpkin Orange Soup

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This is my favourite time of year. This autumn has been one of the most splendid. Not only are the colours glorious, but the weather has been relatively mild, with touches of welcome crispness in the air. So much so that I have been looking for excuses to be outside. Have even skipped the gym for a long walk.

I love everything pumpkin. Not sure why, but I do. Perhaps it’s the bright orange colour, or its silky smooth exterior. It’s no secret that on their own, they can be somewhat bland, but with a little help, they shine. So maybe it’s because as far as vegetables are concerned, it’s about as fall as you can get.

Whatever the reason, every year at this time, I anticipate the arrival of local pumpkins, not just the Halloween pumpkins, but the ever coveted pie pumpkins. I buy them in threes and then worry about how I will incorporate them into my meal plans.

There are no shortages of applications. I make two different types of pumpkin soups, scones, muffins, pies, cupcakes, roti, and many other savoury dishes. The challenge is picking which 3 or 4 to make. Three pumpkins only take you so far and when they are gone, they are gone.

Still working on perfecting my pumpkin scone recipe, but my pumpkin orange soup is just right. It’s everything that a pumpkin soup should be: velvety, but not thick, with just a hint of sweetness. The sweet potato, freshly squeezed orange juice and pumpkin spice though not prominent are present and do the job. They bring out the best of the pumpkin, help define it, and illuminate it. Ohhhh pumpkin and orange; there is no better pairing.

Corissa, this one’s for you.

Enjoy the soup as you revel in the fall rhapsody. Happy autumn everyone.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

 Roasted Pumpkin:
 Olive oil  3 tbsp
 Pie pumpkin, peeled, chopped roughly  1
 Onion, red, medium, chopped roughly  1
 Garlic, cloves, whole  3
 Sweet potato, small, chopped roughly  1
 Salt
 Black pepper
 Soup:
 Broth  4 cups
 Butter  1 tbsp
 Pumpkin spice  1/4 tsp
 Salt  2 tsp
 Pepper
 Orange juice, freshly squeezed  1/2 cup
 Orange liquor  2 tbsp
 Cream, light  1 cup
 Pumpkin seeds  for garnishing
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine pumpkin, onion, garlic, and sweet potato with 3 tbsp of olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for approximately 45 minutes until pumpkin is caramelized.
  2. Place all roasted ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
  3. In a medium pot, heat butter.
  4. Add processed pumpkin mixture.
  5. Add broth and mix well. Bring to a boil.
  6. Add salt, black pepper, and pumpkin spice.
  7. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  8. Add orange juice and orange liquor.  Simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Add cream and simmer for 2 minutes until heated through.
  10. Garnish with pumpkin seeds.

Beet and Pomegranate Smoothie

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On the menu this week was a velvety beet risotto, which required some beet roasting, but oh what a treat. I enjoy roasted beets so much that I always arrange to roast more than necessary to ensure there are leftovers. In this particular case, I had an ulterior motive, red velvet cake. The excess remains (and the fact my pomegranate juice was due to expire) inspired this stunning drink.

What do you get when you combine pomegranates and beets? A deep flavour and a burst of sweetness! And the colour, so striking and daring!

Serves 1 (16 oz)

Ingredients:

 Pomegranate juice  1 cup
 Beets, precooked, roasted, pureed (scrubbed, wrapped in foil and baked at 400 degrees for approximately 45 minutes then peeled and pureed)  1 cup
 Banana, frozen, sliced (may use fresh banana)  1/2
 Vanilla Soy milk, sweetened  1/2 cup
 Soy protein powder  2 tbsp
 Flaxseed oil  1 tbsp
 Ice cubes  3 + more for serving

1.  Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

2.  Serve in a tall glass over ice.