Pumpkin Soup


In addition to the pumpkin ravioli we made for Halloween, we saved enough pumpkin to also make this delicious pumpkin soup, modified from this Food.com recipe. It was easy, filling and perfect for a chilly fall evening.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
2 celery ribs, diced
1 onion, chopped well
1 tablespoon flour1 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon ground ginger1/4 teaspoon nutmeg3 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 lbs diced pumpkin, roasted and peeled
1 cup half-and-halfchopped green onion

Directions:

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add celery and onion and saute until onion is browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and cubed pumpkin. Simmer on low for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Add to blender one cup at a time and blend until smooth. Add half and half and blend. Serve hot with green onion garnish.
My opinion:
Tasted closer to butternut squash soup than pumpkin, but still delicious. Next time we’ll increase the spices a bit more and use fresh ginger.
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Modified Garlicky Chicken and Barley Soup

Monday was a bit chilly and perfect for a crockpot soup. We tried a new one that come highly recommended. However, only after I started making it, did I realize we only had about half the ingredients, so we modified it. It was excellent. I can only imagine how great the original recipe will be!

Ingredients:
3 cups chicken broth
1 large chicken breast, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 carrot grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 can whole tomatoes with juice
Italian seasoning
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup barley

Directions:
Sautee the chicken, garlic and onions in the olive oil. Cook until garlic is fragrant, chicken is cooked and the onions translucent. Pour the tomato juice and chicken broth into the crockpot. (Note: Our crockpot is small. If yours is larger, you might need another cup of chicken broth.) Add the shredded carrot. Put the chicken, garlic and onion in the crockpot. Add the whole tomatoes (should be about 4 or five) to the same pan the onions and garlic and chicken were in. Sautee with Italian seasoning while mashing them. Allow the mixture to cook down. Add to the crockpot. Add 1/2 cup uncooked barley. Turn the crockpot on medium. Cook 6 to 8 hours.

My opinion:
The original recipe called for Italian diced tomatoes and celery. I think those additions would have made it a bit more like soup instead of stew, but this was still super tasty. It would even be good served chilled in the summer.

Ham and Bean Soup

This recipe is similar to the one served in the United States Senate. “Bean soup is on the menu in the Senate’s restaurant every day. There are several stories about the origin of that mandate, but none has been corroborated,” according to the Senate website devoted to the topic. It’s super easy, very filling and wonderful on a cold night.

Ingredients (to serve 8):
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large celery ribs cut into 1/4 pieces
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 large carrot, shredded
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 small lemon
1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
3 cans great Northern beans
16 ounces chicken broth PLUS 14.5 ounces of vegetable broth OR 2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound (or as much or little as you like) ham

Directions:
In a saucepot, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in celery, garlic, carrot and onion. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
Squeeze lemon juice into the saucepot. Add tomatoes and their juice, undrained beans and remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce to medium-low, simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes to blend flavors. Makes about 10 cups.

My opinion:
This soup was super easy. J made the entire thing start to finish in less than 40 minutes. It was flavorful and very filling. We will definitely be adding this to the regular winter rotation.