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Taste that Pumpkin

It’s October – that festive time of month where we have a specific food that we focus on in very creative ways.

I love this time of year. It’s full of celebrations. It’s the most creative time of year and… we get to play with our food. What’s not to love about that? It’s also the anniversary for the opening of my business. How ironic. But, that aside, one does have to admit that this time of year is a very playful and creative time of year.

There’s on particular food we really pay creative attention to: Pumpkins – which is not necessarily the reason for having it in the name of my business. What is it about pumpkins that we are so drawn to? We don’t race out to butternut squash patches this time of year. Yet, they are in season right now too. We don’t gather our families for a day’s event at the spaghetti squash farm. Nope. It’s all about the pumpkin patch.

Every year I shout and holler that it’s “Pumpkin Season” and I encourage everyone to get creative and enjoy the pumpkin fun. But I thought I would do something different, this year.

I want to share with you two favourite recipes for my favourite squash. I cook these recipes often. I love them very much and I hope you will try them out for you and your loved ones.

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DANIELLE’S PUMPKIN SOUP (serves 4-5)

2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 carrots
2 small white onions, or 1 large onion
1 celery stick
1 medium pumpkin (or 1 can of pureed pumpkin)
1 litre vegetable stock
150 ml (2/3 cup) of heavy cream
4 tbsp more cream (as garnish)*
salt/pepper to taste
nutmeg

Optional 1:

If using medium pumpkin, roast the pumpkin first.
Slice pumpkin in half. Remove all seeds – keeping only the meat and the skin of the pumpkin. Place halves of pumpkin face down on greased or parchment covered baking sheet. Roast in oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Don’t worry if the pumpkin isn’t soft. It will continue to cook with the rest of the soup.

Optional 2:

If you like a little spicy heat in your pumpkin soup – add one chopped red chili pepper or a generous pinch of chili flakes to the chopped vegetables and garlic, as they go into the oiled saucepan (see Main Instructions).

Main Instructions:

Roughly chop carrots, onion(s), celery into cubes and/or small chunks and set aside.
Slice up the two garlic cloves and set aside.
(If using a medium pumpkin) Remove skin (and seeds, if not already removed for roasting – optional 1). Roughly chop pumpkin into 1 inch cubes and set aside.
In a medium sized sauce pan, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and set stove burner heat to medium
Add all the chopped vegetables and garlic to the sauce pan (add optional 2, if desired) – let them cook in the sauce pan until onions are translucent (approximately 10 minutes)
Turn stove burner heat to medium-low
Add 1 litre of vegetable stock to the sauce pan
Add the chopped pumpkin to the sauce pan
Cook until carrots and pumpkin are soft
Puree the content of the sauce pan (if using blender, let soup cool down for 10-15 min before pureeing)
Stir in 150 ml of heavy cream
Add salt and pepper to taste
Add nutmeg to taste

*When serving the soup, drizzle cream on the top for visual effect; 1 tbsp per serving

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This next recipe is not a pumpkin one. But it compliments my pumpkin soup perfectly. It’s a recipe of my mother’s famous ‘Buttermilk Tea Biscuits’. I give you this recipe in loving memory of my Mom who passed away this year. She leaves behind some amazing recipes. Everyone who tasted my Mom’s cooking loved her cooking; including my school teachers, from my childhood. When we would have school bake sales, my teachers wouldn’t let Mom’s baking reach the selling tables in the gym. They would buy her baking first, before the sale would even begin.

My Mom cooked these biscuits often – they were constantly requested. These biscuits are best enjoyed right out of the oven, piping hot. 🙂

 

GLENDA’S BUTTERMILK TEA BISCUITS (or pumpkin soup biscuits. Yummm – LOL)

2 cups all purpose flour (pre-sifted)
1/3 cup lard or vegetable shortening (do not replace with butter)
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C)
Sift together 2 cups of pre-sifted all purpose flour, 4 tsp of baking powder, 1 tsp of salt. Cut in finely 1/3 cup of lard or vegetable shortening. Add in 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp buttermilk. Stir with a fork to make a soft dough. Place dough onto a floured board. Knead gently 8-10 times. Roll out dough to desired thickness (biscuits will double in height). Cut with round, floured cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheet; close together for soft sides, or 1 inch apart for crispy sides. Bake at 450 F (230 C) for 12-15 min until golden.

*My Mom’s note to me when giving me the recipe: “These can be rolled thinner (1/4 inch) and covered with a suitable filling – cheese or pate or cheese and ham mix, for example – and then covered with same thickness (1/4 inch) second biscuit dough to make a filled tea biscuit. Great for hors d’oeuvers.”

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Have fun with these recipes. Be creative. Be festive. Share with others. That’s what Pumpkin Season is all about.

much love and kindness,
Danielle