Sweet And Spicy Pumpkin Soup

sns soup

 It has been bitter cold this winter and I wanted a creamy soup. This recipe contains spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves that make you feel warm and comfy, as well as cayenne and ginger which are said to help with circulation. Put those spices in a rich, soothing base of sweet pumpkin and savory broth and you have the perfect winter soup. I’ve also made it using butternut squash. You can use it as a main course served with crackers for a lighter meal, or as a side dish. It would go great with a roasted chicken.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Soup

3 cups broth
4 cups pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 Tbs ghee
1 1/2 Tbs cinnamon
1/8 to 1/2 tsp cayenne, to taste
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp  ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice

Blend all ingredients in a blender, food processor, or using a immersion blender until smooth. Heat on medium in large pot until simmering, stirring occasionally.

Bacon Harvest Squash

So my husband asked if we could have bacon in our supper tonight, but none of our usual dishes with it sounded like the right fit.  I’ve been wanting something with fall flavors and thought squash would be a good match with it.  After some google searches for inspiration I came up with this recipe.  I knew it was a hit when it elicited the eye roll AND the happy chair dance from husband. I’d include a picture, but we ate it too fast.  I’ll see if I can’t make it photogenic next time!

Ingredients:

2 acorn squash
1/2 lb bacon ( I use beef bacon but I’m sure pork would work)
1 apple
1 rib celery
1/2 c walnuts (pecans or almonds could substitute well)
1/2 c cranberries
1/8 c onion, diced
2 tsp sage
2-3 tsp butter, ghee, or coconut oil depending on gravity of dairy allergies
salt, pepper to taste ( I never end up measuring those…)

Directions:

First cut the squash in half and scoop out guts.  Cook cut side down in 350
degree oven for 30 minutes.  While that is baking, cook bacon until ALMOST
crispy. Dice the celery, onion and apples, chop the walnuts. Remove the
bacon from pan. Saute diced/chopped ingredients in the bacon grease until
they are just softened. Remove squash from oven when the timer beeps right
in the middle of whatever you were doing.  Let it cool before you burn
yourself. 😛 Scoop out about half the squash and put in mixing bowl. Rip up
the bacon into smallish bite sized peices and add it, the sauteed
ingredients, sage, salt and pepper to the squash.  Mix well. Spoon the stuffing
back into the squash hollows and top each half with a dollop of
butter/ghee/coconut oil.  Bake 15-20 minutes at 350.  Serve it with a side
salad or other side dish and it will Make 4 servings.

How to Roast Squash or Pumpkin

I was spoiled growing up. My mom always used fresh pumpkin in her holiday baking. It makes such a difference in the flavor. Roasting a pumpkin, or squash, isn’t difficult. I had a big butternut squash i needed to cook up for preparation for another recipe. First, preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Then cut the squash in half.

Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits with a spoon. To keep the squash from sticking tothe pan smear some coconut oil, butter, or ghee on the cut side of the flesh. Place the squash on a large sheet pan with lips, or roasting pan.It’s better if you can fit them both in laying flat,but if you need to lean one on the other a bit like in the picture below it’s ok. They just might not cook as evenly.

Put them in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the size of the squash. These I did for an hour. They are done when you can stick the tines of the fork through the skin of the squash with almost no force. Take the out and let them cool.

The one on the left is done, if they get as dark as the one on the right, they are a little bit overcooked.

The skin will peel right off, just watch out for pockets of heat. At this point prep it for whatever recipe you are using. Or you can mash it up with a little of your favorite milk/milk substitute and enjoy as a yummy side dish.