There's a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy
When they pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie...
Unless, of course, they passed around the coffee and the pumpkin pie once too often. I still have some pumpkin and pecan pie left in my refrigerator. Also one slice of the Italian Chocolate-Hazelnut torte; I promised the last slice to my son... Luckily, the rest of the leftovers are gone, G-O-N-E. Except for the extra pan of Cauliflower Gratinee that's in the freezer. (Somewhat like gold in Ft. Knox in our house.)...and the two or three homemade crescent rolls that I couldn't throw away. Could you?
This week marks the week half the people in the United States say, "The diet starts today; I don't care about the holidays." Maybe you won't stick to that after all, even if you are still full. But perhaps you'd like something light, delicious, healthy and capable of using up a bit more of the canned pumpkin you stockpiled because you heard (here) there'd be a shortage. You're in luck.
I've got a scrumptious, somewhat unusual pumpkin soup that will serve for a super week-after-Thanksgiving dinner or as a first course for some December meal. You can double it and use it for both; it freezes beautifully. It's done in under a half an hour, but can simmer longer if you want to smell that incredible aroma a bit longer. You certainly could throw it in the crock-pot and have it wafting all day long while you decorate, clean (I clean now, not in the spring) or go off to work or the stores. It's great if you've decided, against all odds, to switch three rooms in your house right now, as I have.... What was I thinking???? What possesses us to totally create havoc in our lives during Advent? Answers welcome.
( Cook's Note: If you choose the crock-pot route, add the milk right before serving and let heat a bit longer.)
I know, I know. You almost made pumpkin soup for Thanksgiving and it's in a lot of restaurants. I'm guessing chances are you DIDN'T make the soup for Thanksgiving and, if you had it in a restaurant, why not try this recipe? I think you might like it better if you make it yourself. I did. Leave out the peanut butter if doesn't sound good to you.
Sides: Cranberry Muffins, of course
Wine: Off-dry or halb-trocken Riesling
serves 6 for a 1 c first course; served 3-4 for main course
1/2 large onion, halved again
2 stalks of celery, cut into thirds
2 large carrots, unpeeled, cut into large chunks
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2 c fresh parsley
1 apple, peeled and cut into 1/4's (reserve peel)
6 sage leaves (1/2 t dry)
2 sprigs thyme (or 1 t dry)
1T olive oil
15 oz can pumpkin
2 t peanut butter
1 qt chicken broth, low sodium
1/2 c evaporated non-fat milk
1 t salt; 1/2 t pepper
3-4 drops Tabasco, to taste
Garnish: 4T freshly grated parmesan
2T chopped peanuts
Pulverize first eight ingredients (onions-thyme) in food processor until almost pureed. In stockpot, pour olive oil; heat over medium heat. Add pureed vegetable mixture and apple peel; saute 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add pumpkin, broth and peanut butter. Bring to boil, stirring. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove apple peel. Add evaporated milk and season to taste with salt, pepper and Tabasco. Heat through and serve in warmed bowls. Top with either parmesan or chopped peanuts or both.
Our hearts are light as we travel from giving thanks to preparing to welcome a much-needed savior into our hearts...
Starting the walk to the stable and singing a new song,