when it is dark, we can pretend
Posted on November 1, 2011
Yet another picaresque Halloween here in King William, except for my nuissance cough. I am trying not to cough on the trick-or-treators. I did manage to cook some delicious fall food earlier in the weekend, but then got too sick to deal with blogging. This evening I took some meds and managed to carve a couple pumpkins, and even cook up the pumpkin seeds. Although it is about 77 degrees tonight, there are enough leaves on the ground to crunch so that when it’s dark we can pretend it is Autumn. Our Fall will come, just probably not until the end of November, and it will be brief.
I like my seeds a little well-done, with soy sauce and worcestershire. But I will leave to you cook those without any directions…
I received two small butternut squash in my local box last week, as well as some pears. So I made my favorite soup of all time, Curry Pumpkin. I have been making versions of this for over ten years, and it always impresses. It can be even more awesome and zippy with a salad with apples and homemade honey mustard vinaigrette. Since our South Texas fall is really like summer in some places, it is when I dine outside the most.
I topped it with a little Pure Luck chevre, but have also used all manner of creamy things– tofu sour cream, creme fraiche, etc. This is a pureed soup, and frankly I have made it very smooth, but found that I prefer it ever so slightly lumpy. The curry and the pear are just the right balance of spicy and sweet. You will eat a big bowl.
I used my bag of baby mixed greens from a local farm, as well as local gala apples. You can add some blue cheese, or cheddar, and some sunflower seeds for crunch. Then the honey mustard vinaigrette, which makes it go perfectly with the soup– sweet and spicy.
I used to make this with a wonderful yeasted curry honey bread, but alas the recipe has gone missing. It really is the perfect thing to dip in this soup. I will track it down.
I know I am remiss on the persimmon recipe. I do promise to post one soon. I made a muffin and thought it was ho-hum, so I wont blog about it. But all is not lost– lets just say I hit the motherload source of persimmon pudding recipes, and that is my next venture. I have another two pounds of them ripening on the counter as we speak, and I am determined to find the perfect holiday persimmon dish. In the meantime, enjoy their good looks in the header. What can I say, there is a lot of orange beauty pagentry going on around here.
Curry Pumpkin Soup
adapted from Sarah O’s recipe, when we lived on Center Street
1 tablespoon butter or oil
4-5 shallots, sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 baking pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks
3 carrots, or 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
4 cups (more or less) stock (chicken or veggie)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 ripe pears, peeled and diced
1-2 tablespoons curry powder (this is the gold colored you can buy in bulk)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup milk (can be any type– dairy or grain/nut– just unsweetened)
Saute the shallots and garlic for about 4 minutes, stirring to keep from browning. Add the squash and carrot, and saute on medium-high heat. After about 5 minutes, add the stock to just cover veggies. Thow in your thyme sprigs on top, cover and simmer on med-low about 20-30 minutes, until everything is very tender. Remove thyme and add pears. Stir to combine, cover and cook about 10 minutes more. Transfer to a blender in batches or a food processor. Blend until smooth. Return to soup pot, add curry powder and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Add milk to desired thickness. Cook on low another 5 minutes until well combined and flavors have a chance to meld.
3 parts oil
1 part apple cider vinegar
1 part honey
1 part mustard (I used dijon, but pick your favorite)
dash of salt
Mix well and toss immediately on salad.