This year our pumpkin patch is truly worthy of a visit from the Great Pumpkin himself. We have been very blessed with beautiful perfectly sized pie pumpkins.
While most think of baked goods when it comes to pumpkins, there is a hidden gem that a waits. Pumpkin Soup. Here is my recipe.
1 tsp Coconut oil
1 large onion coarsely chopped
4 cloves of garlic diced
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp of cinnamon (I like cinnamon so I use more like 2 tsp)
1 tsp of fresh crushed ginger (Again, I tend to be heavy handed on the fresh ginger root. You can also used ground powdered ginger.)
2 cups of vegetable broth
2 cups of water
1/2 cup of heavy cream (you can also use a heavy coconut cream, this does change the flavor a bit.)
1 four pound pumpkin
pinch of salt
grind of pepper
Sharp Large Knife
Sturdy large spoon (for scooping out pumpkin guts)
Halve your pumpkin, scrape out “guts” (save your seeds for roasted pumpkin seeds if you like).
Peel your pumpkin:
TIP: Peeling a pumpkin is hard work. If you have a microwave you can “cheat”. Quarter your pumpkin halves. Place on a microwave safe platter, cover with a microwave save cover and use your potato setting for 2 potatoes. Repeat for the other half.
Remove from microwave and cool. At this point you can just peel off the rind of the pumpkin. Easy peasey.
Chop your pumpkin in cubes and set to the side.
In your Dutch Oven, on medium heat; add in your coconut oil, garlic and onion and saute until golden.
Add in your pumpkin cubes, broth and water.
Bring to a steady boil for about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat and add in Ginger, Cinnamon, Brown Sugar and stir until well mixed and the sugar is dissolved.
Simmer until pumpkin is fork tender. So you can easily pierce with a fork.
Remove from heat.
With your Immersion blender, blend until the contents are smooth.
Fold in your cream until well mixed. DO NOT return to heat.
Add in a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in Bowls with a drizzle of cream.
Side Note: My husband likes to add a touch of heat to this soup. As a suggestion use a sauce or Pepper that has a Citrus overtone, such as a Lemon Drop Pepper.
Meal-Prepping and filling your pantry doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Utilizing dehydrated veggies and herbs works great to have a quick grab and prepared home cooked meal. These also have a great shelf life to have on hand during emergency and disaster situations.
Today I am sharing a fun kid friendly recipe. Alphabet Soup. And it tastes so much better than store bought condensed.
First to prepare your jars.
1 half pint canning jar with a tight lid.
1 cup alphabet pasta
2 tablespoons dried vegetable flakes
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granuals or powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
Directions for jars.
Make sure your jar and lids are clean and dry!
Layer 1/2 cup of pasta, then 1 tablespoon of dehydrated veggies, then the boullion and Pepper.
Layer the second tablespoon of veggies then the second half cup of pasta.
The layering just makes it “pretty”.
Tightly screw on your lid and label.
Alphabet Soup Mix
Add 4 cups water + 1/2 cup of tomato pasta sauce.
When you are ready to use.
Place water, pasta sauce and contents of jar in a large sauce pan.
Bring to a boil on high heat.
Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, or until pasta and veggies are tender.
Place in a cool place to store that isn’t prone to high humidity, your pantry.
Until next time!
This time of year the greens really start coming in. After awhile one gets tired of salad so here is a comfort soup made from fresh kale. You can also substitute or mix fresh spinach or collard greens with or instead of the kale. Nothing warms the soul like a hot bowl of soup at the end of the day!
4 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of water
a “bunch” of fresh kale (or greens) stripped from their stems and chopped
1 yellow onion diced
6 yellow or red potatoes diced
4 large garlic scapes (message me to find out what this is or google it!)
3 medium golden beets
2 large carrots
1 tsp of fresh thyme
1 tbsp of fresh basil chopped
1 tsp of salt
1 lb of ground sausage, already browned (I use spicy sausage for an extra kick)
Pour your stock and water in your large crock-pot
Dice and chop all your veggies and put in your crock-pot
On the potatoes, cut out any eyes but keep the skins on the potatoes, dice small
Carrots, scrap off skin and root hairs and dice large
Golden beets: cut off the greens and “tail” and scrape off skins, dice large. (You can add the fresh beet greens if you like as well, strip off the stem. Waste not want not.)
Dice your garlic scapes small.
Add in your herbs.
Brown your (spicy) sausage in a separate pan until cooked.
Add the sausage and any juice from the pan into the crock-pot.
Stir the contents.
Set on High for 2 hours then move to low to finish cooking.
Add salt to taste and some fresh basil just before dishing up.
In the dreary days of February nothing is better than coming home to a hot crock of soup! Especially when my loving husband has been doing the cooking! We believe in using everything we have on hand and that means when we get a ham we use it all! After putting up for the freezer most of the meat we were left with nice sized ham bone with scraps on it. The perfect beginning to an amazing filling soup. This amazing treat screams Country Southern Cooking at its best. Enjoy!
1 lb of dried black eyed peas
1 tablespoon of olive oil
5 carrots, diced
1 tablespoon of celery seed
2 stalks of chopped celery (optional)
1/2 large onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large ham bone with meat scraps on it (with about 3/4 lb of ham scraps)
1 small can of diced tomatoes with peppers
5 handfuls of torn kale leaves (remove your stems)
tsp of course ground black pepper
2 to 3 cups of water
The night before: Rinse your black-eyed peas and pick through and discard anything that isn’t a black-eyed pea. Soak in water overnight.
The next day, drain and rinse your peas
In a skillet, heat your olive oil.
Sauté your carrots, celery, celery seed and onion on a medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Do not burn your veggies.
Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Put your veggies in your crockpot.
Add in the ham bone, extra ham if needed, rehydrated black-eyed peas and the water and simmer for about 6 hours in your crockpot.
Add in the tomatoes.
Remove the bone scrapping off any additional ham scraps into the soup.
Simmer for another 30 – 45 minutes.
Add in your kale leaves until the leaves are done, approximately 10 minutes of cooking.
Let cool and enjoy, maybe with some homemade corn bread on the side! This is a hearty soup that will leave you warm and satisfied!
Meal-Prepping Meal: Italian Spinach And Tortellini Soup
I just got home from a wonderful vacation in the South. What a fantastic time I had with my awesome husband. Sadly, vacations come to an end and real life is eagerly waiting. So, in anticipation of a crazy week of getting back into the swing of our daily routine, mealprepping is a necessity.
I have modified this recipe from Weight Watchers to use as a freezer meal. Yes Weight Watchers, I enjoyed vacation a little too much. I just can’t say no to good southern cooking. So here we go.
Ingredients: (for each bag/serves 6)
1 chicken breast cubed small & cooked
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion diced
2 Peppers (red & yellow) diced
1 medium zucchini cubed
1 medium summer squash cubed
3 garlic cloves diced
1 small bag frozen chopped spinach (or 2 cups washed & chopped fresh baby spinach)
1 (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
1 (9 ounce) package frozen spinach and or cheese tortellini
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/8 red pepper flakes
2 cubes of chicken bouillon
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
1 gallon sized freezer bag
On your freezer bag write Tortellini Soup & the date. Also write Add 3 cups water on day to cook.
Make sure your chicken is cooked and cooled.
Add your chicken in your bag.
Add your veggies to your bag.
Add your can of diced tomatoes with juice
Add your spinach last to the veggies.
Add the olive oil
Add red pepper & seasonings.
Add your basil
Add your Tortellini
Very carefully seal your bag, pressing out the air as you seal.
I like to double bag my soups.
The day before you want your soup.
Take out of the freezer and put in the refrigerator, standing up in a bowl to thaw.
The day of cooking.
Dump all contents into your soup Crock-Pot.
Add 3 to 3 1/2 cups water
Set on LOW and cook for 5-6 hours
At the end of the day serve with a sprinkle of Fresh asiago or Parmesan cheese and enjoy.