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.

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Curry in a Hurry!

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If you know me, you know my dinner standby is a simple equation of sorts: pasta + veggies + protein. I like to mix up each part, and I love trying new sauces. Definitely my favorite comfort food, and heaven knows I eat a lot of it.SAM_5020

But sometimes when I’m feeling wild and crazy, I make Curry in a Hurry. It’s so simple, so healthful. Plus, it’s fast!

Yes, a good curry can be made fast and made for one. Here’s how.

Ingredients

1/2 cup dry brown riceSAM_5014

4 oz. of cooked protein of choice (chicken, mahi mahi, etc.)

1 cup veggies of choice (onions, scallions, carrots, edamame, broccoli, and red pepper slices are a few of my favorites)

1-2 T broth (for a runnier curry)

1-2 T Trader Joe’s Yellow Curry Sauce

1/2 t curry powder

garlicSAM_5006

cooking oil

optional: dash of cayenne or ground ginger for good health

Directions

To cook your rice fast, prepare in rice cooker as directed. Or do as I do and combine 1/2 cup rice and 1 and 3 T water in microwave-safe bowl and zap for about 7 minutes or until all water is absorbed.

While your rice is cooking, heat garlic in a lightly oil pan. Add in veggies. Sautee as you add in the curry powder, then the broth and optional seasonings if you’d like those.SAM_5021

At this point, if you’d like your protein mixed in, then do that now. I often just eat mine over the top, on a bed-of-rice sort of deal.

When the rice is finished, blend it in to heat up with the veggies. After a minute or so, mix the secret weapon, Trader Joe’s Yellow Curry Sauce, in. Blend well; add more if you like.

Serve warm. And if you’re in a hurry, at least take a minute to enjoy this incorrigibly good, Indian-inspired dish.