Pumpkin Soup - The Best You Ever Tasted...Made By a Cat, a Duck and a Squirrel

Ok, so here it is!  My apologies for taking so long to post this recipe! Left over Halloween pumpkin put to good use...easy, delicious and nutritious! My neighbor had given me two left over Halloween pumpkins to make soup.  Mandy Lee, from Fostering Nutrition, happened to be visiting, and she whipped this right up!

1 medium sized Pumpkin

1 onion

3 cups chicken stock, veggie stock or water, may need a little more or less based on pumpkin size

1 onion, diced

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp fresh thyme 

1 handful fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped

1 cup cheese of choice, grated (parmesan, cheddar)

1 cup heavy cream (optional)

Sea Salt and pepper to taste

Cut top off pumpkin, put back on and place pumpkin in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and scrape out all the seeds and set aside to make roasted pumpkin seeds later. 

Place broth, onion, garlic, cheese, cream and thyme in the pumpkin and place back in the oven with the top on for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and, using a fork, carefully scrape some of the pumpkin away from the edges allowing it to fall into the soup (about 1 cup).  Return to the oven for another 40 minutes.  Upon removing from the oven blend the soup carefully using a hand held blender. You may also pour the soup out into a blender and blend well before returning to the pumpkin for a beautiful presentation and serving. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro.

If you have small children this is one of our favorite books. It will be a perfect read along side this delicious soup!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Seeds from one pumpkin, washed and dried

1-2 generous pinches of sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1-2 tsp maple syrup

Place on a cookie sheet and mix until well coated. Place in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until crispy, stirring occasionally. Remove, let cool and enjoy. May also place in a tupperware or leave on the counter, in a bowl, for future snacking. For a more savory seed try a bit of cumin, paprika and sea salt!

 

DRESSING THINGS UP!

Photo Mary G Brackett

Grab olive oil, vinegar, mustard (if you have it) sea salt and pepper and kids you are on your way.  I am telling you this is a job any kid can do. A little mason jar, cute bottle or hey, even a bowl and a fork, they/you can do it! Dressings are one of those things I feel strongly about! I remember sitting at my first Weston A. Price Conference hearing Sally Fallon say "salads are killing America." I thought to myself,  What the heck? Now salad? What next? Well, at the end of her talk she referenced that it was the rancid vegetable oils, within most dressings, that were really the culprits. Soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil to name a few, are all terrible offenders to our heath; not to mention right there in the ingredients you may often find high fructose corn syrup! Yuck!

Making your own dressing seriously, could not be easier, and when even that seems too hard, I drizzle a little olive oil, add a pinch of sea salt and vinegar right on my salad and call it a day. Make a double batch and store in the fridge. It is a huge money saver. Just be sure to set your homemade dressing out on the counter a bit before mealtime to allow the oils to come to room temperature and make for an easy pour. 

 

Basic Vinaigrette

Makes 1 Cup

1 tsp organic mustard (I like stone-ground)

1/2 tsp sea salt 

1 clove garlic, pressed (optional)

Freshly cracked pepper

Fresh chopped herbs (optional)

3 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed orange juice, raw apple cider vinegar or vinegar of choice

¾ cup olive oil

 

Place the mustard, seasonings, and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk together. Slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking to emulsify. Another option, pop all the ingredients in a pint size mason jar, cap and shake. Store in a mason jar in the fridge.  Couldn't be easier!

 

 

It's Most Definitely Not Extravagant But It's Always Real!

Sometimes at 6:00 I find myself saying, what the heck are we having for dinner? I know you have all been there!  However, I find that if I have stocked my pantry well, I can always whip up something real!  Tonight, I found myself thrilled to be staring at a butternut squash and 3 onions!  It doesn't have to be complicated guys...my mantra: buy what you can afford and cook real food! Tonight all 7 of us had a delicious butternut squash soup for under $10 total...now that's economical!

 

Note: If I waited to get the perfect pic of all kids (nearly impossible)  I would never be able to post anything...blahh!

Note: If I waited to get the perfect pic of all kids (nearly impossible)  I would never be able to post anything...blahh!

Butternut Squash Soup

2 Quarts chicken stock, veggie broth, or water 

2 tablespoons animal fat, coconut oil, ghee, or olive oil

3 leeks, sliced in half, and sliced again into half moons (or 2-3 onions)

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, rosemary and garlic tied together), optional

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Optional Garnishes

yogurt or sour cream, chopped fresh herbs and soaked pumpkin seeds

Add the leeks, or onions, to the pot with fat. Add a pinch of sea salt and cook on low until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 10-15 minutes. Add the butternut squash and stir to combine.  Add the stock, and the bouquet garni, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, covered, for 30 minutes or until squash is easily pierced with a fork. Take out the bouquet garni and remove from the heat. Carefully puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.