Monday, October 19, 2009

Embracing Autumn and Pumpkin Soup

Yes, it is that time of year again. I had quite an abundance of tomatoes this season, and have loved them all. Unfortunately I couldn't let them all grow up to be as plump and red as these ones. These are my German Queens, and I am enamored by this heirloom. I gutted a few of the late bloomers, and have dried the seeds to use again next year. If that doesn't pan out, I suppose I can find them again at Lowe's.

This is the most amazing mulligatawny soup! I've been meaning to try a recipe I have marked in one of my books for ages, but never got around to it, as I was hesitant of the combination of flavors. Mulligatawny is a soup most commonly comprised of apples, curry, coconut milk, and chicken. When I saw this dish at Fresh Thyme Soup Co in Beaverton, OR, my new favorite restaurant out there (as they have a great GF menu), I knew I had to try it. Even though it does have coconut milk, which I don't agree with so well. It rocked my world! I had it for lunch at the Cafe w/ some GF cornbread, and again for dinner w/ my own GF bread (see picture). I love it! I'm so excited to try my hand at this recipe, so stay tuned :)

I have been branching out in my cooking lately, and discovered I have quite a fondness for lemongrass. I also have a great fondness for photographing things, which has been magnified by my brand new rockin' camera! I wanted to capture the great purple color of the rings as I was chopping the stalks. I will post our new favorite lemongrass-infused recipe soon as well (just don't pay any attention to my posting track record of late...).

I am finally accepting the fact that summer is gone. I hate to see summer go, as it is my favorite season. However, I always seem to forget how much I enjoy autumn, until it is upon me. This year fall has been rather sporadic, with lots of early snow on the mountains and eerily-Oregon-like rain storms. We've taken a couple trips up the canyons, and I have had my breath stolen by the beauty of this great season. After one such trip, I decided to celebrate the arrival of fall by making this recipe. I dug around for a can of pumpkin, and whipped it up in no time. It was quite good, although next time I will use chicken broth rather than the turkey broth I had in the freezer (it tasted a little too much like turkey gravy, lol).
This recipe comes from the great ladies at Eating Gluten Free, and as usual, is amazing! Very much a fall favorite!
P.S. For the pumpkin-leery readers, seriously, you can hardly taste the pumpkin. This is like a creamy chicken soup. Try it! For real!

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Pumpkin Soup

2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 Tbs. oil
½ sweet onion, chopped (I used onion powder, and a dash of garlic powder as well)
4 c. chicken broth (I used turkey stock b/c it's what I had in the freezer, but would recommend chicken in the future)
2 c. pureed pumpkin
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups milk (almond milk worked fine for me)

In a large pot, heat the oil.
Sauté the chicken w/ the onion and garlic powder until chicken is cooked.
Add chicken broth, pumpkin, and nutmeg and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat, add milk and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Watch it so it doesn't boil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I thought the soup was great by itself, very creamy, but the recipe calls for swiss cheese as a garnish. It's been so long, I can't even remember what swiss tastes like (just the smell...).

I also added some cooked white rice to the leftovers, and really enjoyed it. There wasn't enough soup for me to compare whether I liked it more w/ or without the rice. Give it a try.