Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Leftover Pumpkin Puree Dilemma

So... it's the week after Thanksgiving. You made the requisite Pumpkin Pie, and now you have a half of a can of pumpkin puree sitting in the fridge, drying out. What to do?

I, for one, am a huge fan of soup - especially when the snow is falling (like it is right now where I'm at), so I'm going to make a flavorful, healthy Pumpkin Soup. At the end of this post, there are some links to some other interesting sounding (but not personally tried) alternative recipes.

For now, here is my Simple Pumpkin Soup Recipe:

Over med-high heat, sauté 1 Cup Onion, chopped (about 1 small yellow or white onion)
In 1-1/2 tsp Butter (or Chicken Stock for lower fat)
Stir and cook until Onions are translucent & some start to brown
Add 1 clove Garlic, minced
Stir and cook about 2 minutes, until Garlic is fragrant.
Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of your favorite Wine or Sherry (deglazing just means scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and incorporating all that flavor back into the mix; the higher heat also cooks off most of the alcohol in the wine - just stir and scrape and it'll be wonderful.)

When you are bored of stirring (about 2 minutes), add:
1 Can (14-15 oz.) Chicken Stock (approx 2 Cups; alternately, you can use 2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes + 2 Cup water OR use Vegetable Stock instead).
Bring to a boil and cook about 5-7 minutes, until liquid is reduced noticeably.

Reduce to simmer and add:
1/2 Can Pumpkin (about 1 Cup)
1 Tbl. Agave Nectar (or 1 Tbl. your choice: Honey, Regular Sugar, equal amount of artificial sweetener)
1 Dash Tabasco (or Hot Sauce of your choice)
1 Pinch* ground Cloves
1 Smidge* ground Nutmeg
1 Pinch* ground Coriander
1 Smidge* ground Cayenne pepper
1 Pinch* Celery Salt
1 Smidge* White Pepper
Stir well to combine, then let cool enough to put into a blender.

Blend all ingredients to a smooth texture, return to pot, set heat to low simmer and add:
1/2 cup Milk
Warm over very low heat until soup is a nice, thick consistency, about 20-30 minutes.
Add Salt & Pepper, to taste if desired, and serve.

*I have an actual measuring spoon set with these measurements; if you don't, just know that a Pinch equals about 1/16 tsp and a Smidge equals about 1/32 tsp.

Soft Pumpkin Pretzels
Spiced Pumpkin Fudge
Gingerbread Waffles
For Your Puppy - Pumpkin Dog Treats

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