Next soup on my list of favourites is a simple but delicious Pumpkin Soup. The one used here is from our own little pumpkin patch. We had a very healthy crop, all plump, moist & bright with orange flesh. I love cutting into a whole one & pulling back to see such crispness & colour – it always make me smile. The photos below are as I took them, with no adjustment to the brightness or saturation, just garden-fresh, vibrant, natural colour.
We have had a good crop of pumpkins this season & when thinking of ways to use them, I kept coming back to the idea of warm & inviting pumpkin pie, laden with a soft mousse like, spice filled centre, surrounded by a crunchy crust, laced with ginger & butter.
I remember working with a lovely lady some years back, who was over here in Australia from the US. We were chatting about her plans for her family’s upcoming Thanksgiving dinner. She was describing all the fabulous dishes she would be making & how excited she was to have the opportunity to bring a little piece of her home to life here. It was towards the end of the conversation that she appeared to almost physically deflate & she looked at me & said, “The only disappointing thing is the I can’t find any pumpkin.”
To say I was confused was an understatement! Pumpkins are everywhere in the supermarkets & green grocers – they come in all shapes & sizes, various colours & types. Without wanting to sound condescending, I said to her, “Did you check the fruit & vegetable section at the supermarket?”
She looked at me as perplexed as I felt & said, “Is that where they keep the cans?”
I did some baking over the weekend & baked these very special little squares of chocolate-y goodness, that I just have to share! Normally I would have taken photos of the making process, but I was purely experimenting with a gorgeous recipe I had seen on the wonderful Texanerin Baking blog a few weeks ago. I am so impressed with the result, I don’t want to wait to put it up, so sorry for the lack of pics, but you have to make these, seriously, make them!!!
Erin’s brownie recipe looked so incredible, I wanted to make my own version as a treat for my family. I have changed a few little things, and didn’t have enough zucchini in the fridge to make up the two cups used in her recipe, so I substituted some grated pumpkin. It comes together beautifully, cooks up to a light & fluffy slice, with just enough gooey chocolate to make you want to lick your fingers bare!
Living the Pumpkin Dream!!
Oh how I do love the humble garden pumpkin! Gorgeous rich orange, easy to cook & so versatile! Pumpkins have that kind of adaptable nature that makes them a great ingredient in both sweet & savoury dishes. Also, the little ones in the family love it – so I know I can use it & not have screwed up little faces at the dining table (well … sometimes anyway)!
We had a small harvest of Kent Pumpkins in our little organic home garden earlier this year – I love watching them take shape & from the gorgeous yellow-orange flower, right through to ripening, they are just such fun! Kent is my favourite variety too as the skin is easy to cut & can be cooked into most dishes like soups & roasts. Leaving the skin on where I can is preferrable because of the added nutritional value & well … it’s yum!
I was down to the last of our crop – having exhausted it making soup, mash & roasts, pretty standard fair in our house. I decided I wanted to do something a little more indulgent & special with the last one – & if you have been following me on this bloggy journey you will know, for me that means something sweet!
I have been itching to get this recipe up here for a week or so now, but you know how life gets in the way of things sometimes! We have had a huge influx of ‘stuff’ – I am not sure what has happened at times, but none-the-less the days disappear & I am left wondering how it got to be 9.00pm & I am only just sitting down! Not that I am complaining, nothing worse than me alone with my thoughts & too much time on my hands – always dangerous!
Anyhoo … I have been tweaking this recipe for a while now & just wasn’t quite happy with it … until now!
“But it’s a pasta bake,” … I hear you say … “nothing hard or all that special about those!”. Indeed, I agree … you see, my history with pasta bakes is a rocky one, where I shunned them for a lack of taste, mushy texture & too many pre-preparations for a disappointing outcome.
The thing is, my partner J is a big fan of the pasta bake, so I needed to find something we could all tuck in to & enjoy! I do make a mean lasagne, that I love, but I wanted something lighter, less meaty, more fragrant & rich with texture & flavour, not drowning in creamy sauce or saturated with artery clogging amounts of heavy cheeses.
Luckily for me our little home garden has been generous of late, giving us a colourful array of tasty treasures – pumpkins, carrots, tear drop tomatoes, parsley & oregano. Lining them all up I was struck with inspiration & set about finding just the right combination to bring together these wonderful colours & flavours into a warming, hearty autumn feast for the eyes & the taste buds.