Curried Pumpkin Soup

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Fall is all about pumpkin. Last year I was trying every pumpkin dessert recipe I came across. This year, being busier with my doctoral work, I’ve slowed down a bit and tried my hand at savory pumpkin recipes this season.

On Halloween, I had a small dinner party with close friends as part of our weekly supper club. We call it “Lovely Ladies Supper Club,” and it’s a blast. Every Thursday we visit a different friends apartment or home, get to see how they live, who they live with, what fuzzy family members they live with, and how they like to cook.20131106-142939.jpg

I love soup–and you already know I love pumpkin–so my Harvest Pumpkin Chili seemed perfect. The problem is I have this not so awful habit of always wanting something new. I hate trying the same restaurant twice, and the same goes for recipes.

So I came across this Curried Pumpkin Soup from Better Homes and Gardens online. They said it would only take 30 minutes, and they were right. Very fast, very tasty. No complaints from me (and I might even try this one again!).

Make it. Save the leftovers for your lunches. That’s what I did, of course, because life moves fast. Packing lunch is my least favorite thing to do in the morning. So fresh, homemade soup that’s ready to heat and serve is perfect for my busy lifestyle.

Ingredients

1 – 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree20131106-142952.jpg

2 qt. chicken stock

2 t ginger

2 t cumin

2 t curry powder

dash of onion powder and hot sauce, if you want to give it a kick

3/4 cup roasted corn or softened lentils

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

1 red pepper, sliced into small strips

1 T olive oil

Directions

-In a large sauce pan, heat your oil and add in the veggies to sauté them. Add in seasonings and continue to cook for another 2 minutes until softened up.

-In the same pan, add in half of the chicken stock. Set the soup to boil, and then add in all of pumpkin, mixing well. Add in remaining stock + 1/2 cup water if you want a thinner soup. Mix well.

-Let boil just a few minutes and then return to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes if you have the time for fullest flavor. If you don’t, grab a slice of cornbread and dig in.

Mustard-Dressing Baked Russet Potatoes

Potatoes get a bad rep. It’s not fair. They don’t deserve it.

In moderation, they offer great health benefits. Plus, they’re just a very yummy comfort food–perfect for a quick and satisfying weeknight fix.

This recipe, originally adapted from Better Homes & Garden’s potato salad recipe, was meant to be served chilled. But I like my potatoes hot, even in the summer months. So here’s my version:

Ingredients

2/5 pound russet potatoes (about 5 small ones)

1 T Olive oil

2 t Dijon mustard

2 t red wine vinegar

a pinch of stevia

.5 t black pepper

1 T fresh parsley (or 1 t seasoning)

1.5 t chopped onion

1.5 t chopped celery

Directions

-Halve or quarter the potatoes. Boil for about 15 minutes or until soft.

-Once they’ve cooled enough to be held, toss them in the oil. Place on lightly greased broiling pan. Broil on high for about 3 minutes. Turn them to the other side. Let broil another 3 minutes, or just enough so that they start to get a crispy, golden brown appearance.

-In a small bowl, combine Dijon mustard (Trader Joe’s is the best!), vinegar, sugar, black pepper, parsley, onion, and celery.

-Pour mustard dressing over the warm potatoes and toss gently. Serve warm, if you like, or cold, if you like that. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of any cold potato salad, but I imagine the majority who do like cold potato salads would love this served chilled (and if you try that, you’ll want to forgo crisping via broiling, too).

Enjoy!