December 27, 2011

Dark Days Pumpkin Soup

This week's Dark Days meal is a holiday detox one. Even though I didn't eat huge amounts, the refined sugar and rich food I did eat have me reaching for comforting vegetable dishes. Lots of parsley, arugula and kale salads and for lunch today this soup.

Usually I spice my pumpkin/winter squash soups with curry or warm spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc.  But in a search for "winter" books for Alex I found a gem of a cookbook at our library.  It's called The Winter Harvest Cookbook.  Way ahead of the current locavore movement this 20 year old book was reprinted last year and it is full of ideas on how to cook winter produce.  What I like the most about it is that even though meat, dairy and grains are present in the recipes the focus really is on bringing out the best of the seasonal vegetables.

So this time I made my pumpkin soup a little different by following a recipe in the book that called for juniper berries.  I cooked leeks and onions in turkey shmaltz, added cubed pumpkin and a little ground juniper berries.  These softened together for 10 minutes and then I added chicken stock and cooked it for 30 more minutes.  To finish I pureed the soup and tasted for seasoning.  All the vegetables were local and the chicken stock and turkey shmaltz were from local birds as well.  And the apple is from Rennie Orchards.  A perfect little lunch for a Dark Day.
Visit Not Dabbling In Normal on Sundays for the round up of Dark Days meals. You can also visit our coordinator at Unearthing this Life to see some of our Midwest group entries.  

The pumpkin I used was a Jarrahdale pumpkin
The kids on Christmas morning
Alex is showing Penny the gems he got and Penny is holding the doll I made her.  Alex's new rockhound paraphernalia surround them.