Sharing a seriously fun love for food

Month: November 2015

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

Warm Pumpkin Soup is a welcome treat for busy days.

Warm Pumpkin Soup… A quick and easy fix for a busy day!

We are officially in the midst of the holiday season and finding time to prepare a warm meal becomes a challenge. This is a soup we started making years ago and comes from “Beyond Parsley”, a Kansas City Junior League cookbook with a few added “tweaks”. This can be made ahead of time; the flavors are even better day two! Don’t be concerned about “non-curry lovers”, the curry flavor in this soup is very subtle.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

1 large onion, sliced
3/4 cup sliced white scallions, white part only (Shallots can be substituted for scallions.)
¼ cup butter
1 16-ounce can pumpkin puree (I use Libby brand pumpkin)
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon (Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base is a good option)
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon sugar
*½ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon dried parsley
1 to 1-1/2 cups half-n-half
Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Preparation:

Sauté the onion and scallion in butter until softened and starting to golden in color.

Stir in pumpkin, broth, bay leaves, sugar, curry powder, nutmeg and parsley.

Tip:  *Gently toasting the curry powder in a small skillet over medium heat brings out the depth of flavor in the curry. Stir the curry with wooden spoon until fragrant, about 5-6 minutes.

Bring to a simmer and continue cooking, uncovered for 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and remove the bay leaf. Using an immersion blender or food processor puree the soup until smooth.

Return the soup to a low heat and add 1 to 1-1/2 cups half-n-half (start with 1 cup, then taste; if you like a less intense flavor add the extra 1/2 cup), salt and pepper to taste. Simmer an additional 10 minutes. Top with crème fraiche if desired.

Warm Pumpkin Soup is a quick meal for busy days.
Warm Pumpkin Soup is a quick meal for busy days.

6 servings

 

 

 

Company’s Coming!

Company’s Coming!

 

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It’s that time of year and with a few simple steps your guests will feel like they are at a five-star resort when they arrive at your home. These tips are easy to do and most things you’ll have on hand or will only take a few minutes of your time to prepare…your guests will love you for it!

*Arrange extra storage in a closet or dresser so clothing can be easily stored during your guests’ visit. An ironing board and iron made easily accessible is also appreciated for a quick refresh after their journey.

*Make the guest room inviting by providing magazines or share your favorite books you already have on hand. Place them on a nightstand for late night reading. An extra reading chair in the room also comes in handy for putting on one’s socks in the morning!

A tray with teas, sweeteners, spoons and napkins all ready for unwinding!
A tray with teas, sweeteners, spoons and napkins all ready for unwinding!

*Take a tray or basket you have on hand, fill with an assortment of teas and light snacks. Leave this on the guest bed waiting their arrival or on the counter in your kitchen. Keep the tea kettle out on the stovetop, place creams and sugar near the coffee maker. Jot down simple instructions in case your guests want to make a cup of coffee in the early morning hours before everyone else is up or late at night as they wind down for the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Place cotton balls, Q-tips and a scented candle on a tray and place on the counter in the guest bath. Include often forgotten toiletries, an extra toothbrush, hair dryer and a clean robe to provide the spa treatment and a bit of pampering. Provide some dark towels and wash cloths to remove make-up so your guests don’t stress over staining your guest towels.

Bath tray

*To wrap up the day, place some luscious chocolates on their pillows. Lindt, Godiva and Ferrero all make individually wrapped chocolates so they’re easy to keep on hand and always appreciated for sweet dreams!