Fallternal Twin Soups

Pumpkins are not merely a favorite fall canvas for carving funny faces and frightful scenes, first and foremost these blazing orange bulbs are food (!). If you can look past their use as spooky porch decorations, and (bien sûr) their excellent smashing abilities they are certainly among the tastiest of autumn squashes.

The recipe below calls for white pumpkin, but any shade on the white to deep orange color spectrum will produce similar deliciousness.  The ingredients are simple and minimal, but this concoction nearly brought pumpkiny tears to my eyes—the garlic flavor, so subtle and light, floats around the sweet, earthy pumpkin like a pillowy dream.  If forced to live and cook in fall forever, this would be my meal du choix.

Pumpkins are not merely a favorite fall canvas for carving funny faces and frightful scenes, first and foremost these blazing orange bulbs are food (!). If you can look past their use as spooky porch decorations, and (bien sûr) their excellent smashing abilities they are certainly among the tastiest of autumn squashes.

The recipe below calls for white pumpkin, but any shade on the white to deep orange color spectrum will produce similar deliciousness.  The ingredients are simple and minimal, but this concoction nearly brought pumpkiny tears to my eyes—the garlic flavor, so subtle and light, floats around the sweet, earthy pumpkin like a pillowy dream.  If forced to live and cook in fall forever, this would be my meal du choix.

White Pumpkin and Roasted Garlic Soup

6 Cloves garlic, left whole and in their skins
1 Medium white pumpkin (the orange variety works well too)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Cups vegetable stock
Salt & pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚.  Cut pumpkin in half, remove the seeds. Cut pumpkin into even sized wedges and place onto a sheet pan.  Drizzle wedges with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake in oven for 50 minutes to an hour, or until the “meat” of the pumpkin easily peels away when scraped with a fork.  Halfway through cooking time, coat garlic cloves with olive oil and add to sheet pan with the pumpkin.
  2. Remove pumpkin and garlic from the oven, set aside until cool enough to handle.  Remove skin from garlic and place in a large bowl.  Remove all of the pumpkin meat from skin.  Discard skin and add pumpkin to the bowl with garlic. Add warmed vegetable stock.  Using an immersion blender, food processor, or blender, blend until very smooth.  Check for seasoning and serve with crispy garlic chips (slices of garlic sautéed in olive until brown).


Kitchen sink pasta, an impromptu yet typical Sunday meal in our house is an informal medley and mixing of the week’s leftovers.  Vegetable odds and ends get haphazardly tucked amidst fusilli, campanelle, gigli and the like, then dotted with chèvre and blanketed in Parm.  This is an off-the-cuff, cleaning-fridge kind of meal that often bodes the biggest smiles and satisfied stomachs of the week.

I decided to extend the kitchen sink notion to soup this autumn.  Any fall root veggie seems to have a magical yet inherent ability to flawlessly pair with the others.  Carrots and parsnips, mmmm.  Parsnips and sweet potato, mmmmm mm.  Sweet potato and carrot…Ok, you get the idea.   The recipe below calls for these three, but any root veggie or squash variety you have hanging around will do; the idea is to use up any of those hiding vegetables tiptoeing on the edge of rotting. Add a blend of Middle Eastern spices to bring out the rich colors and flavors, and you’ve got a bold and nourishing soup to last the week.

Spiced Parsnip and Carrot Soup

1 Medium onion, diced
2 Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 Parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
4 Tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 Cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ Teaspoon of each of the following spices: cumin, coriander, turmeric
Salt & pepper
2 Cups vegetable stock

  1. Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat.  Brown carrots and parsnips.  Add onion, sauté until translucent.  Add garlic, tomato, and spices and stir to combine.  Add vegetable stock (if vegetables aren’t fully submerged, add water).  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, cover to cook for 25-30 minutes.
  2. Using an immersion blender, food processor, or blender, blend the entire soup mixture until smooth.  Check for seasoning.  Stir in a couple shakes of cayenne for heat J  Serve with crusty bread

 

 

 

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