Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin soup and playing catch-up with the season

As you can see, we are a bit behind on our raking duties. It seems like we have been a bit behind on the seasons all year, though. Is it October already? Indeed the leaves falling on our lawn won't let us forget.

Oh wait, it's nearly November!

This year has been flying by, dear readers. A pair of weekends ago weekend Ben and I traveled back to the town where I grew up for my 10 year high school reunion. (I know writing this outs me on my age, but there you have it - I'm, relatively speaking, pretty young!). Ben and I took a day and headed to my old stomping ground in South Minneapolis to tour the galleries of the newly renovated and expanded Walker Art Center. Some of you might know this area of town for the famous sculpture garden nearby (yes, the one with the cherry and the spoon).

Afterwards, I remembered how close we were to the French Meadow Bakery, which has always had a famous to-die-for bakery case, and I had heard recently they began offering a selection of gluten free baked goods. Needless to say, we stopped in for a cup of joe and a sweet treat.

Their gluten free offerings were all pre-packaged and well-labeled. That day, they had a choice of a brownie, a chocolate chip cookie, and an apple-cinnamon muffin. I chose the brownie, of course, because I wanted some chocolate and felt the need to compare it to the Betty Crocker brownie I made earlier in the month. The French Meadow Bakery brownies were awesome. Period. Really nothing more to say about them, except I wish their cafe was here in Portland! They do offer online ordering and list several stores in Portland that supposedly sell their products, but I haven't found the gluten free items in two of those stores (but, many more stores can be visited and phone calls can be made!).

In our farm share this past month, we have received a number of sugar pie pumpkins and we inadvertently grew a pair of small ones in our front yard (planted there by previous owners, we're guessing). So, when handed pumpkins, what does one make?

Well, we made pumpkin soup. And it was good.

This is my entry in this month's "Go ahead honey it's gluten free" event (started by Naomi at Straight into bed cakefree and dried), which is being hosted by Heather over at Life Gluten Free. The theme is pumpkin treats! Check out her round up!

Pumpkin soup

1 medium-sized sugar pie pumpkin

1/2 small onion, diced

4 cups chicken broth

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp gound cloves

olive oil

coconut milk or half and half

toasted pecans

grated Parmesan cheese

ground black pepper

Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds (save them and roast them after dinner!). Place pumkin halves cut side down in a baking dish and add water to the dish until the water covers the bottom of the dish about an 1/8 inch high.

Bake in the oven at 350 for about 40-50 minutes until soft. Allow to cool and scoop out the flesh into a bowl.

Saute diced onion with some olive oil in a large soup or stock-pot until they become translucent. Add the broth, pumpkin, and spices. Stir well to mix.

Simmer on low for about 20-30 minutes, until heated through and somewhat cooked-down. Blend in a blender until smooth.

On each serving, drizzle some coconut milk (or half-and-half), and sprinkle with pecans, cheese, and pepper.



Stephanie said...

I really like the French Meadow brownies! They stock them at Disney World, and I enjoyed quite a few on my trip out there at the beginning of the year. I even had a couple of restaurants warm them up. Yum!
I'm anxious to try this soup. I made a pumpkin soup a couple weeks ago, which I enjoyed a lot, but I like the idea of your additions of coconut milk and pecans. Sounds like a sweet but savory recipe!

Erin said...

I love that picture of your back yard. It looks really beautiful!
I am definitely trying that pumpkin soup too!

Heather @ Life, Gluten Free said...

Yum, pumpkin soup! Thanks for participating, be sure to check my blog to see the round-up.

gfe--gluten free easily said...

I can just imagine how wonderful and comforting that soup can be on a chilly day. It will be near 80 here tomorrow, but soon it will be chilly again. :-)


Lauren said...

This soup looks fabulous! I love the flavours in it and how simple it is =D.

Jenn said...

Your pumpkin soup looks just delicious! Love it!

Jenn/CinnamonQuill said...

Those brownies are very impressive, I've had one :)

Nice work on the soup! I've made squash soup before, but does the pumpkin taste quite different? I am very curious.

Lauren Denneson said...

Jenn - Thanks! The soup can be made with most winter squash (I made it with acorn as well recently) and the flavor does indeed change with the squash you choose. The pumpkin is more subtle than acorn or butternut squash.