Soup! Glorious soup!

It’s that time of year here in the northern hemisphere – fall! I love fall, the colours, the crisp air, relief from summer heat (I don’t like it too hot which is why I like Vancouver so much), pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice everything, cozy sweaters and soup! I definitely get cravings for those warm comforting foods like soup. I tend to like cream based soups the best and still have fond memories of coming home for lunch when I was in grade school and having tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

As I focus on researching and creating my next blogs with updates on where I am in my journey both professionally and personally I thought I’d post a quick blog with a few of my fave soup recipes.

Spicy Pumpkin Soup
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons minced, peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow curry powderVal Meikle's photo.
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Small pinch of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of kosher salt plus more to taste
4 cups low sodium chicken stock (or vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
2 bay leaves
2 (15 oz) cans 100 percent pumpkin or 3 1/2 cups of chopped roasted pumpkin purée*
1 cup water
3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Yogurt (for garnish)
Toasted pumpkin seeds (for garnish)
*To make pumpkin purée, cut a sugar pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on a tin-foil lined baking pan. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Purée in food processor. Freeze whatever you don’t use for future use.

Slow Cooker Potato Soup
PREP TIME: 10 MINS COOK TIME: 4 HOURS 10 MINS TOTAL TIME: 4 HOURS 20 MINS
INGREDIENTS:
6 slices cooked bacon*, diced
3-4 cups good-quality chicken or vegetable stock
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes**, peeled (if desired) and dicedVal Meikle's photo.
1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and diced
4 tablespoons bacon grease* (or butter)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 (12-ounce) can 2% evaporated milk
1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
optional toppings: thinly-sliced green onions or chives,
extra shredded cheese, extra bacon, sour cream
DIRECTIONS:

Add bacon, 3 cups chicken stock, potatoes and onion to the bowl of a large slow cooker, and stir to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, or until the potatoes are completely tender and cooked through.
Once the soup has slow cooked and is about ready to serve, cook the butter in a small saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat until it has melted. Whisk in the flour until it is completely combined, and then cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Gradually add in the evaporated milk while whisking it together with the flour mixture, and continue whisking until the mixture is completely smooth. Let the mixture continue cooking until it reaches a simmer, stirring occasionally, and then it should get really thick.
Immediately pour the milk mixture into the slow cooker with the potatoes, and stir until combined. Add in the cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt (or sour cream), salt and pepper, and stir until combined. If you would like the soup to be even thicker, you can use a potato masher or a large spoon to mash about half of the potatoes (while the soup is still in the slow cooker) to thicken the soup up. If you would like the soup to be thinner, add in an extra 1-2 cups of warmed chicken or vegetable stock. Stir to combine, then taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve warm, garnished with desired toppings. Or transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (This recipe will not freeze well.)

Aaaand one more: 
Chicken Corn Chowder
Ingredients:
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, dicedDawn Gump Wilson's photo.
1 stalk celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tsp garlic, minced
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup sharp shredded Cheddar cheese
Green onion, thinly sliced (for garnish)
Directions:
1) Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat.
2) Add onion, celery, red pepper and garlic and cook until the vegetables are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
3) Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
4) Add corn and simmer for 3 minutes.
5) Place flour in a medium bowl and slowly whisk in the milk until mixture is smooth.
6) Slowly whisk the milk mixture into the soup, continue to whisk frequently, until the soup is thickened, about 15 minutes
7) Stir in salt and pepper.
8) Stir in the chicken and cheddar cheese,stirring until the cheese is melted
9) When ready to serve, ladle into soup bowls and garnish with green onions

Enjoy one of these soups (or any others that you like), maybe curled up close to a warm fire, wrapped in a cozy blanket, chatting with some friends or just reading a good book.

Pumpkin Recipes!

Welcome to fall (autumn), or so it seems with the weather lately here in the Vancouver area. I love this time of year! The cooler weather, the beautiful coloured leaves, the smells in the air, even the rain. One of my other favourite things about the fall is pumpkin! I love pumpkin pie! It’s my fave kind of pie, actually probably the only one I really eat. Sure I’ve eaten apple pie or strawberry rhubarb or blueberry, it’s hard to turn down pie ;), but pumpkin is my number one! So I felt that sharing some pumpkin recipes with you today would be an excellent idea. I hope you enjoy them. 🙂

Pumpkin-delight-1Layered Pumpkin Dessert:
Ingredients
1 cup Flour
½ cup Butter (softened)
½ cup plus ¼ cup Pecans, chopped
8 oz. Cream cheese, softened
1 cup Powdered sugar
3 cups Whipped topping, divided
2½ cups Milk
3 sm pkgs. White chocolate instant pudding mix (or vanilla) – 3.4 oz. boxes
1 – 15 oz can Pumpkin puree
1 tsp. Pumpkin spice
Instructions
Layer 1: Mix flour, butter and ½ cup pecans together. Press into a sprayed 9×9 OR 9×13 pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, then remove and let cool.
Layer 2: Blend cream cheese and powdered sugar, add 1 cup of the whipped topping then spread over cooled crust.
Layer 3: Mix milk, pudding mix, canned pumpkin, pumpkin spice and 1 cup whipped topping until smooth. Spread over top of layer 2.
Layer 4: Spread remaining 1 cup of whipped topping and sprinkle pecans.
Let chill for 3 hours or until set.

pumpkin-puddingSuper Simple Pumpkin Pudding:

Mix a single serving container of plain, (non-fat if preferred) Greek yogurt and half a cup of 100 percent pure pumpkin puree.

Add a dash of ground cinnamon or nutmeg for flavour, and top with chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts.

This recipe is easy to adapt to a larger quantity but I love the idea of serving it in pretty single serving bowls.

 

 

 

pumpkin pieHomemade Pumpkin Pie: I had to include a traditional pumpkin pie recipe!

Ingredients: For single crust pie

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shortening

3 1/2 tablespoons cold water

Filling:

2 cups canned prepared pumpkin

1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Prepare pie crust by mixing together the flour and salt. Cut shortening into flour; add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time (you may need only 3 tablespoons, or up to 4 tablespoons). Mix dough and repeat until dough is moist enough to hold together.
With lightly floured, hands shape dough into a ball. On a lightly floured board roll dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness. With a sharp knife, cut dough 1 1/2 inch larger than the upside-down 8- to 9-inch pie pan. Gently roll the dough around the rolling pin and transfer it right-side up onto the pie pan. Unroll, easing dough into the bottom of the pie pan.
In a large bowl, beat pumpkin with evaporated milk, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt with an electric mixer or immersion blender. Mix well. Pour into a prepared crust. Bake 40 minutes or until when a knife is inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean.

Aaand last one –

pumpkin ice creamPumpkin Ice Cream: You do need an ice cream maker for this recipe. I haven’t tried it yet to see if it would work without one.

Ingredients:

1 (15 ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin
1 cup cream
2⁄3 cup half-and-half
2⁄3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions:

Whisk together ingredients until smooth.
Place mixture into an electric ice cream maker and operate machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.
When mixture is thick, place ice cream into a freezer container to firm up as desired (it should be like soft-serve out of the machine).
Freeze time is cook time (average machine timing).

*NOTE* I take no responsibility for calories, fat, or sugar ingested with any of these recipes. 😉 I do remind you though to eat in moderation, enjoy every bite when you do indulge, use the very best quality ingredients you can afford and go for a walk and breathe in the loveliness of this time of year.