Monday, December 28, 2009

Garbanzo Lentil Soup

Meet Toaster. She's got an eye for trouble and eye for good soup. Alayna is in Florida so I have to do soup solo. I invited my best pal Zach over who pretended at first he wasn't madly in love with my new feline bestie, until she starting purring all over him and now look at them. All soupin' in love.

The few times I've had to make soups without Alayna they turn out a little Mehhhh but this one is a winner. It's just spicy enough to be exciting but not over the top. Lentils are good for us too.... Dang, I just did a little research, check this out:

Lentils, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. But this is far from all lentils have to offer. Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein-all with virtually no fat. The calorie cost of all this nutrition? Just 230 calories for a whole cup of cooked lentils. This tiny nutritional giant fills you up--not out.

Zach! It's a mighty good thing you ate two bowls of this stuff maybe your shockingly high cholesterol levels will start to decline. What, did you not want me to tell the world about that?

Zach liked this soup so much he wrote a haiku:
I love lentil soup
Because it's as fun to eat
As it is to poop

Zach, that's disgusting. But it's sort of true. You know why? Because lentils are such an excellent source of fiber. Alright soupies, go and clean out your clogged post-Christmas systems with this winner.

Garbanzo Lentil Soup

  • Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Add 1 onion & 3 cloves of garlic; sauté until golden, about 13 minutes.
  • Mix in 1 teaspoon of cayenne and 3 dried red peppers chopped and a handful or two of chopped carrots
  • Add 6 cups of chicken broth and 1 bunch of kale
  • Increase heat; bring to boil.
  • Add 1 lb of lentils and 1 14 oz. can of garbanzos beans, 1 package of mushrooms; reduce heat to medium, a twig of thyme and rosemary
  • Cover; simmer until lentils are tender, stirring twice, about 30(ish!) minutes

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

French Aspargus Cream Soup

One Year Of Soups

We made it. This marks our one year anniversary of Monday's Soup. Things have changed in both my life and Alayna's in that year but when you flip back over the months and months of soups everything feels solid and stable and good. Soup steadies us.

There have been a small handful of Mondays when we had to do a soup solo. When I was in Alaska, when Alayna was sick. That said, we never missed a week of making soup completely.

So what have we learned? A lot, actually. Alayna was ahead of me in the kitchen all along, from when we met in France and had those big dinner parties, I'd just drink the champagne in the corner or buy the last minute groceries we had forgotten at the market. We talked about it last night on her couch, my legs crossed with my soup bowl balanced on a pillow on my lap. Alayna said before she only felt comfortable making a handful of soups. This has obviously changed. We also have made friends with a bunch of different vegetables that before, we weren't totally sure what do with. Kale, parsnips, a giant pumpkin... to name a few.

And what's next? Ethnic soups. We feel we have gone through the round of vegetable soups, French and American, simple broths, gazpachos, chicken and shrimp and sausage... now it's time to move into lentils and spices and richer stews. Lets travel to India and Thailand and China and Bhutan. Yes, Bhutan.

What does a year of soup taste like? It tastes like a nice stable routine that grounds you and roots you in a city that can sometimes spin you off. So it's good. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the truth of the truth? The marrow of Monday's Soups? Is this:

Soup is good.

P.S. I have a cat now. Toaster. Zizi and Toaster are going to be bestfriends. And I just thought ya'll should know.

French Aspargus Cream Soup

  • melt about 1/4 stick of butter in your soup pot
  • saute a small yellow onion and the white parts of 5 small (3 large) leeks until translucent and fragrant
  • add your home-made chicken broth* and bring to a simmer
  • add 3-4 thinly sliced (pinky width) red potatoes and four carrots, similarly chopped, and let simmer for about 20 minutes
  • when potatoes and carrots are getting softer, add in a bunch of chopped asparagus... simmer all together for about five minutes, then approximately a cup of heavy cream (more or less to taste) and 3-4 handfuls of spinach
  • turn off heat, stir in spinach and let sit about five minutes before serving with Parmesan cheese on top

  • de-bone a chicken thoroughly (we used two since both were small)
  • stick the bones in a pot with a few cloves of garlic (4-5), some roughly chopped onions, carrots, celery and herbs (we used oregano, thyme and rosemary) with salt and pepper
  • simmer on low for 2 hours, adding water if necessary
  • strain through a colander or cheese cloth, discarding 'bits' and cool in the refrigerator overnight to let fat congeal
  • skim the fat off (it will look yellowy-white not brown) the broth will be kind of gelatinous. that's okay, it'll liquefy when it's warmed up

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup

Gang, holy heck but next week is OUR ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF SOUP. Dang, time flies when you're spooning ladles and peeling garlic. Can't believe it only took us 47 soups before we decided to make CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP. 47 soups? Is that how many we made? Golly.

And look at us now. Back in the old days we only sliced up sausages, now we're de-boning, breaking wish bones (I won) and slaughtering pumpkins... and yet I'm still wearing the same ridiculous glasses that are my Dad's. Awesome.

Alayna got a dutch oven. She hasn't really been able to stop talking about it but I understand. It's cool to come home and see your chicken soaking up flavors in a pot on the stove. Homey. And that chicken tasted good. Even the breast meat which Alayna is weirdly adverse to, she admitted, was tasty.

Chicken Soup for the Soul. Remember that book series? Jeez, they really have a book for everyone. Good thing they have a Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, and for a second I didn't know what to get Alayna for Christmas...

Chicken Noodle Soup
  • roughly chop about 6 cloves of garlic and saute in olive oil
  • add half a large yellow onion and cook on low until translucent
  • add two chopped parsnips and 3-4 carrots, cooking covered until they begin to get soft
  • add some sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano, and about 3 bay leaves. cook more until fragrant (five more minutes). at this point you should put your water on to boil the noodles (two large handfuls of egg noodles)
  • defrost a package of frozen peas, adding them to the pot with broth. DON'T fill all the way, because you're still adding things
  • put in about two handfuls of shredded chicken. we roasted our own with our awesome brand new dutch oven this weekend, but you can also just debone a rotisserie chicken.

  • once the noodles are done, drain them and put them in the pot as well
  • add salt and pepper to taste and simmer for about five min

Look at baby Zizi cat eat kale chips, that's a kitty who was raised right!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Green Machine

As promised, our top five BEST soups of all soupie time.... (Uhm, Alayna is insisting instead of "Best" I say "some of our favorites" as if our other precious soups like Roasted Root Soup and Fennel is Fantastic will have their feelings hurt. Alayna is very attached to these little bowls of miracles.)

This is based on nothing but Alayna and my personal opinions and casual soup banter. Honestly, none of the soups we make are that tricky to pull off. Well, slaughtering that pumpkin was sort of intense... but that soup didn't even make the cut (even though it was delicious). So new soupies, don't be intimated that these are SOME OF OUR FAVORITE soups, just be inspired to make them. And enjoy them. And share them.

In no particular order:

P.S. Our top five happens to also be really cheap soups to make. Only the West African has meat. We're talking less than $10 soups here (well, for non-Manhattan residents at least, put us in the $15 range-- but still-- remember, these are BIG portions)

Tonight's soup? Not on the top five list of best time soups, but probably on the top five list of healthiest soups. This was sort of one of those, lets just toss in what we have in the fridge in a pot with broth and then put it in the blender soups. Those soups never fail. Well, depending on your fridge.

Either way, it's a nice during the week meal, especially as the weekends seem to be increasingly filled with holiday sugar madness. So it's nice to level out the playing field. Okay, soup out buddies.

The Green Machine!

  • roughly chop 6 cloves of garlic and saute with red pepper flakes and herbs de provence
  • add one large roughly chopped yellow onion, 3 small-medium red potatoes, a large carrot, a head of broccoli (with the top part of the stalks), 2-3 large zucchini and two tomatoes and cook covered
  • when potatos and carrot are starting to get soft, add your veggie broth, 1/2 a bag of spinach (or more, whatevs), bring to a simmer
  • blend and serve!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Turkey Soup

After Thanksgiving Detox Soup

Everyone talks about what to eat for Thanksgiving. And I have seen more than one article about what to eat before Thanksgiving. (Egg white omelet, thanks Self.) But do you know what to eat AFTER Thanksgiving?

No? Well you're in the right place old friend. Alayna's sister made turkey broth from her leftover carcass. (Recipe below- my favorite line: "break bones into small pieces." Sounds badass, right?) And I know what you're thinking, but I'm so full. That's why this soup is SO great because it's super light (think Detox Soup). It's a great light meal for the day after. A perfect after Thanksgiving soup.

Dang. You think, those soupies do it again. Knock your socks off with a spot on soup. I know, I know. We're so good at this by now-- month 11 of soup laboring- scratch that, I mean ladling- that we should probably get a book deal. Any day now, folks...

I bumped into a closet soupie while in my hometown in Jersey, she suggested a good idea for the new comer soupy- to make a top five list of best soups for easy navigation when a first timer wants to make a winner (or an old timer). I know, all the soups are winners, but some are like, big time lottery winners.

Either way, ballots are open. Cast your vote: Best soup.

In the meantime my little pilgrims and native americans, eat up.

The perfect post turkey day light soup without losing the spirit of the holiday:

  • roughly chop about 5 pieces of garlic and saute in olive oil, adding half of a chopped yellow onion when becoming fragrant
  • add a fennel bulb (only the white parts) 4-5 carrots, 4-5 celery sticks, all roughly chopped, and cook covered with a few bay leaves until you can stick a fork through them
  • cover with FRESH TURKEY BROTH* (or any other kind of broth if you don't have an awesome sister) and bring up the heat, adding a handful of chopped parsley, three heaping handfuls of sugar peas, and your leftover turkey torn into little pieces
  • serve once it's heated through!
Turkey broth, courtesy of my sister:
  • first, thoroughly clean the meat off the turkey carcass, then break the bones into small pieces and bake them at 400 for about an hour until they look crispy
  • put them in a pot of water with the onions, apples and celery, (adding salt and herbs) and boil for about an hour with the lid on, on low heat
  • pour through a colander to get out the 'gross stuff' and refrigerate or freeze for later use!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ginger Asian Soup

I came home sick from work yesterday and promptly fell asleep. I woke up for the last 45 minutes of Legends of the Fall, wept like a baby when Isabel 2 was shot by the prohibitioners' stray bullet when they were trying to intimidate Tristan- like that's even possible. Once again I was left feeling cheated I wasn't born as a native American two hundred years ago. Then I fell asleep again. Woke up to Alayna buzzing up with groceries. I said what should I help cut? She looked at me with disgust in her eye as if I were a leper and said, Nothing. I sat back and she cooked me soup and it was pretty fantastic.

Then Paul came over. (Mom, stop reading this now.)

Paul came over with bloody hands.

"Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red."

- William Shakespeare, Macbeth 2.2

Paul had just ended the lives of two pigs, with two bullets, a slit to their throats and four large man's knees holding their squealing piggy cries down in the dirt while they died. Paul ate our soup and shared the (curly) tales of the pig slaughter in a cold barn in Vermont just the day before. (Paul will go back to Vermont to cut and salt and store all this meat- he is in culinary school and this acted as his first butchering experience.)

I felt bad that we made our soup with chicken but didn't say anything.

So this Ginger Asian soup is dedicated to our chicken and pig friends. And once again I am inspired to make one of those promises to myself that when I do happen to buy meat it's the more expensive kind that says it's slightly more humane than the other ones.
Because it can't be good- for our bodies or our karma- for those mass slaughters of those industrial animals with those shitty lives- who die without anyone giving them much thought. Or being sad. Or sitting on my couch eating my soup marinating over the experience- and the life- thoughtfully. Like someone probably should when something dies for our benefit.

I thought about this after Paul left but then I fell asleep again.
I was really tired afterall.

Ginger Asian Soup
  • chop 5-6 cloves of garlic and a generous amount of fresh ginger and saute in olive oil

Your ginger doesn't have to be growing stems like mine...
  • add a bunch of roughly chopped broccoli rabe (include the stems in leaves! they're delicious, i promise... just not the very bottom of them)
  • add in mushrooms (we had shitake, baby bellas and... something else that came in the three pack. if only one option is available, i would go for shitake)
  • once the rabe is getting to be a darker green and the mushrooms cooked through a bit, add your veggie or chicken broth and bring up the heat to get to a boil
  • in a separate pan, cook up a few chicken breasts in bite-sized pieces
  • once the broth is boiling, add a packet of udon noodles (snapping them in half first) and two generous handfuls of fresh sugar snap peas with your cooked chicken
  • Flavor with soy sauce (and salt and pepper if you are a sodium addict like moi)
  • Once the noodles are cooked through (about five minutes) enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Garlic Breath Soup

Poor little baby Zizi cat hated this soup night. But our new buddy Tater-tot loved it! Especially because he got to lick the bowl. The bowl of rich garlic goodness. This soup is a nod to our vampire friends Edward and what's-her-face from Twilight. Or New Moon. Whatever. You know. I should probably know. I can probably take a swing through What Would Justin Bobby Do and figure it out.

Nods Bella and Beau.

Okay soupies, time to start seriously thinking about the great soup pot day coming up, that's right, A Year of Monday's Soup Anniversary Gala. The date should be sometime in January, details will follow, but these are a couple things that should be on your radar in the meantime:

  • Review this blog: Take a stroll back to your favorite soggy recipe; was it Veggie Detox (it actually was, I have analytics and that is our most popular soup-- you alcholoholics, you), or African peanut soup (that was MY favorite soup), or Lime Soup (Alayna?). Either way, check out our past hits and remember all the good times we had together. Remember when the blender broke? Classic soup memory.
  • Make your request early! If you have a soup you really want to make (you will bring this soup to our party in a soup pot... that's another thing, you might have to buy a soup pot)... email one of us and we'll cross that one off the list. All the soups must be different!
  • Start singing and tapping your toes: We are currently looking for songwriters, poets and dancers to help us write and choreograph the group "We Aren't Afraid of Soup" song that we will videotape and then repost on our blog and it will quickly go viral.
So let us know who could help us out. I'm not joking about any of this. At first Alayna thought I was and then she saw the soup ladle sparkling in my eye and knew. Knew I was serious. Souperious. And when you're souperious nothing can stop you.

Bad Breath Soup
  • Roughly chop 3-4 onions and two heads (that's right, HEADS, not cloves) of garlic and saute in a sprinkling of olive oil and about 3 tablespoons of butter on low
  • Add chopped fresh parsley, rosemary and thyme (we cheated and used dry thyme) and cover, stirring occasionally, letting it cook for about 30 minutes

  • Add chicken stock or vegetable broth and bring to a boil
  • Cube half a loaf of french or otherwise delicious bread and add it to the pot until soft (add more broth if it's too chunky)\
  • Blend and serve over the leftover pieces of bread
  • Try to avoid sitting to close to strangers

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chickpea Rosemary Soup

While Melinda, our Monday Soup's dinner guest, was in the other room Alayna introduced me to her new buddy Ernst the Eggplant in the kitchen.

Alayna met Ernst at the Essex Street Market and at first she thought he was a deformed eggplant but then realized he was actually a great new pal. She sent me a message on Saturday night that we have a new soup buddy in our lives. I just pray he never rots. Notice that we discuss produce on Saturday nights? Cool.

Man, this post is weird, huh? Maybe it's because it's 4 o'clock and it's already dark outside. Maybe it's because I just watered my desk cactus for the month and I'm tired out. Or maybe it's because last night Alayna and I ate an entire mammoth bunch of kale. (P.S. Check out our kale chip recipe below. THEY'RE AWESOME. They're like potato chips for health conscious weirdos.) Anyway, yeah, I don't know.

But this is what I do know. Chickpea Rosemary soup is a comforting thing. Sort of like a potato soup. I also know that I really enjoy New York City in the fall. I keep realizing this over and over. Especially the Lower East Side. I felt all full of goodness and chickpeas when I set out to walk home Monday night at 10pm from Alayna's. I smiled when the street kiddies pretended to beat each other with baseball bats on Suffolk, or those rats that always run under your feet on the corner by Houston, or that drunk person you always run into because you can't see the corner because of the plywood fence that is covering the empty lot which always has movie posters for really good indy movies and meditation spots. You know what I mean. Anyway right, soup...

Friends 4-eva.

Chickpea & Rosemary Soup!

  • Roughly chop about 4-5 cloves of garlic and saute in olive oil with some hot red pepper, adding a roughly chopped yellow onion when beginning to get translucent. Add about 4 stripped sprigs or fresh rosemary, leaves only.
  • Increasing the heat a little, add 4 parsnips (also chopped) and then a zucchini. Cook another five minutes or so until everything is a little softer and you can stick a fork through them
  • Add 4 drained and rinsed cans of chickpeas and two tomatoes, then cover with vegetable broth and bring to a simmer (not a full boil! it will make the rosemary bitter)
  • Drain and season with lemon juice and black pepper!

Kale Chips!

  • Tear leaves up into medium sized pieces and place in a brownie pan
  • sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt and mix with your hands
  • cook at 375 for about 30 min, stirring once and checking to make sure tops aren't burnt

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup / Ode to Beets

Union Square Market. Where I buy my beets & they play the Amelia song and I want to die because I'm so filled with joy.

Hello soup lads and ladles. (O.M.G. I'm good at this.) November is here. Which means all of our little vegetable friends are burrowing deep into the ground to stay warm, thus the perfect time for root soup.

Root soup sounds cool, doesn't it? Like Alayna and I somehow have morphed into two heavy set frontier women surviving the winter with only one donkey and a plow. It sounds almost as cool as when Lauren Cook casually mentioned how she pickles AND CANS her beets. My jaw dropped I was so impressed.

The thing is, I've been eating beets every day since Saturday afternoon. And I plan to eat them again in a few hours for lunch. Everything that comes out of my body is red. I love it. Poor little Zachy who had beet dinner with me on Saturday doesn't so much.

Via text message:
Zach: My poop was red and it scared me and I'm never eating beets again.
Mary: I ate the leftovers today and now my pee is red too!
Zach: I feel ill.

Of course, Zach didn't feel ill. He is just nervous because he has a marathon to run in 12 months and he's freaking. Don't worry Zach, keep eating nutritious foods like beets and you'll do fine.

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

  • chop about 4 parsnips, 4 turnips, 6 regular sized carrots, one large yellow onion, and 3 medium sized beets into bite sized pieces and put into a brownie pan
  • add 4 whole peeled cloves of garlic
  • sprinkle the whole mix with sea salt, black pepper, herbs De Provence and olive oil and mix with your hands to coat
  • bake in the oven at 450-500 degrees for about half an hour, stirring once or twice, until you can fork through all the veggies fairly easily
  • transfer to a soup pot, cover with vegetable broth and bring to a boil until the veggies are easily mashed
  • blend and serve!

Happy soupies.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Soup

Putting sausage guts in our soup. Awkward to write out, delicious to eat.

It's so spooky that Alayna and I weren't even trying to make HALLOWEEN SOUP. Neither of us put together that soaking the black beans in water for an hour and 45 minutes and using that water as the broth would dye the entire soup black. Making it the purrrrfect ghoulish soup.

Wait, what? Soaking the beans for an hour and 45 minutes? I KNOW. That's a really long time to wait. So what did we do? Uhm, figured out six different Halloween costumes based on Alayna's closet and dressed up by the soup. Because that's soupies do on Monday nights.

Here we go! Monday's Soups first Halloween! And please don't judge me for writing some of the worst captions ever.

An Egyptian adding poison to her father's soup.

"Looking into my soup bowl I see many leftovers in your future."

Stepford wife cooking away her sadness and dreaming of a future where she can take her mind out of the kitchen and into the workforce!

A Mayan Indian thinking about traditional Mayan life and how we only have 2 more years left on the calendar. What will be the last soup she makes?

Holy smokes, Bond girl is tied to the hot soup bowl and is about to die!

Thanks James Bond for annihilating that pot of soup with an electric screw driver.

Just kidding. We didn't annihilate our soup! We ate it. And now you can, too!

Shrimp / Sausage / Black Bean Spook Soup!

  • put 1.5 16oz bags of dried black beans into a soup pot and fill halfway with water, bringing to a simmer
  • while that's simmering, chop one fennel bulb, a white onion, three cloves of garlic, 3 large carrots and a red pepper into smallish pieces and dump into the pot
  • cut open the casings of 2 sweet and 2 spicy italian sausages (or 4 mexican chorizo sausages) and break the raw meat into little pieces, dropping them into the pot
  • ADD WATER WHENEVER THE SOUP DOESN'T COVER THE BEANS.... also add veggie broth powder (or salt and pepper) to taste
  • after about 1.5-2 hours (when the beans are soft all the way through) bring the soup back up to a boil and throw in a pound of thawed frozen shrimp (no shells) for 3-4 minutes until cooked through (this is optional, but delicious)
  • serve with shredded cheese on top

Monday, October 19, 2009

Carrot Coconut

The texture revolution.

This is what I mean, these are the things I've started to do differently. I buy the New York Sunday Times at the store on 25th and 3rd even though I can read it for free online. I drink coffee in a mug which I refill and refill and refill on the long part of my couch and pick apart the paper. I bought a hard covered book (Sherman Alexie, War Dances) at the store. It was new and cost $23. I just re-read all the underlined parts of "For Whom the Bell Tolls," my copy is taped up the spine. I read it in Galicia. I lent it to a boy to read in Galicia. I lent it to a boy to read in Barcelona. I re-read it in Barcelona. I mailed it home on a box that took a ship across the Atlantic.

"There is no such thing as safety. There are so many seeking safety here now that they make a great danger. In seeking safety now you lose all."

I underlined that. But I didn't add any stars on the margin next to it. Which means those sentence were my lowest priority of underlining. I have a structure. Two stars is as high as a sentence can be. I won't tell you what those are though.

I meant to write about something else for this post but then I started looking through books because I was looking for Something. A line or something. And instead I remembered how much I miss the feeling of books. I remember pretty much almost exactly what I was thinking when I underlined everything I have ever underlined. It's a gift. I paged through a Mary Oliver book of poems, and then a Frances Driscoll book of poems, which I don't think is a big name but I found her in a used bookstore in Maine-- which place in Maine, Brunswick? and I cried sitting in the corner reading it because it was sad. And then I probably pitched a tent somewhere.

Alayna and I haven't discussed the texture revolution that thoroughly yet but I know she's part of it, too. She forgot what it felt like to receive mix tapes and then she did in the mail and remembered. She builds pots in her hands. That's a good one.

What do you do to keep texture in your life? Making soup counts, too.

Carrot Coconut Cah-Cah-Cah
  • 4-5 garlic cloves chopped in olive oil, saute
  • Add 2 shallots, 5 stalks of celery chopped, 1 head of broccoli chopped
  • a few generous shakes of garam masala, chili powder and coriander
  • Add 2-3 large leeks, a "decent" amount of ginger chopped
  • 4 small red potatoes, skin on, add a bag of regular carrots chopped
  • Pour in a can of coconut milk

  • Add enough chicken broth to cover the veggies
  • Bring to boil and then let simmer for about 25 minutes until veggies are soft
  • Blend!

  • Alayna and the soup. I cannot smile while spooning soup. We tried. We took 8 pictures. I can't do it.

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009

    Roasted Pumpkin Soup

    Pumpkin slaughtering. That was our Monday night. Did you know you can buy a pretty big pumpkin at Key Foods for under $5. I know, right? We gutted this pumpkin, roasted the seeds, knifed it into sections, peeled the outside skin, chopped those into bits. Roasted the bits. I sort of felt like we were hunters tearing apart our prey. I liked it.

    For those non-New York City readers, yesterday was cold. That morning as I was getting ready for work I heard a hissing sound I could not identify and it began to drive me crazy. Eventually I realized it was the building's heat being turned on for the first time this season. I decidedI should probably take out the air conditioner.

    This is how we look when we have food in our mouths.

    You are encouraged to mimic our Autumn harvest. It was pretty awesome. We drank pumpkin special beers. We snacked on roasted pumpkin seeds, crackers with homemade baba ganoush, pesto with hazelnuts (recipes below), and St. Andre cheese.

    Then the soup was ready. New soup record with the sheer amount of soup we made. A big pumpkin goes far. And Alayna and I like to cook as if we had 10 sons coming home from war.
    Whatever, I was pumped to have a full pickle jar of pumpkin soup to schelp 30 blocks home with me. So many lunches!

    P.S. This soup was under $10, and it made what? 20 servings? Souper cheap, souper tasty.

    Roasted Pumpkin Soup!

    • take one medium-sized pumpkin (as in, not more than 5-6 pounds, because that's a lot of pumpkin! like, enough for 6-8 people), wash the outside, take out the seeds and set them aside in a colander.
    • OPTIONAL: Rinse off the seeds and put them on a cookie sheet with some olive oil, salt and pepper... cook at about 350 and take out before they burn (we burned ours, so I don't have a time estimate)... you can snack on these or just put them on your soup
    • Peel the pumpkin with a vegetable peeler (we found peeling it in pieces easier) and cube, placing pieces in a brownie pan with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover with tinfoil and pop into the oven for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees (should be easy to fork through when they're done)
    • Saute garlic, raw ginger, half a white onion, a handful of fresh sage leafs and 3-4 large carrots until carrots are getting soft. Add the pumpkin and some vegetable broth
    • Blend and serve!

    Pretty Pesto!

    • buy a bunch of fresh basil for no reason other than it's pretty
    • toast about two handfuls of hazelnuts (or walnuts) in a frying pan with no oil on low heat, stirring occasionally
    • almost fill your food processor with basil leaves, then add 3-4 cloves of garlic, about half a cup of parmesean cheese (or just the amount you had left), the toasted nuts, some salt and pepper and a generous pouring of olive oil
    • taste and adjust... for more saucy pesto add more olive oil, if serving as a dip, maybe a little less
    • serve with crackers or use as a marinade, in soup, etc etc... keeps for a while in a well sealed container and can be frozen!