All posts by jenniebrant

Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup

Oh hello, Fall.

Here’s a sweet and creamy soup to warm you on a chilly autumn evening.

And we’re not going to mess with that canned pumpkin from the store. We’re starting from scratch. Nothing to worry about – it’s easy. This does require a stick/immersion blender!

Advertisements

Baking the pumpkin:
– Choose a good pie pumpkin – not a giant carving pumpkin, those don’t taste good.
– Preheat oven to 400F.
– Knock off the stem and chop the pumpkin in half. Lay guts down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
– Bake for about 20 minutes. When you can easily poke through the skin with a fork, remove from oven.
[[While pumpkin is baking, start prepping the rest of the ingredients for the soup!]]
– Scoop out the guts and toss them in the compost. Now scrape the “meat” of the pumpkin away from the skin with a spoon – it should scoop away easily.
– Yell out, “Soup’s on!” to all the people you’re gonna feed. Because it’ll be dinner time in no time at all.

Ingredients:
– 3 cups baked pumpkin
– 3 cups broth (this version used 3 cups boiling water plus 2tbsp Better than Bouillon “no chicken” base, you can use veggie broth or chicken broth)
– 1 16oz can of coconut milk (I usually go with the Thai Kitchen brand)
– 1 medium red onion, chopped finely
– 1/4 cup chopped celery
– 2 tbsp butter (or oil to sauté onion)
– 1tbsp ginger, chopped finely*
– 1-2tbsp garlic, chopped finely
– 1tbsp thyme
– 2tsp curry powder
– 1/2 tsp garam masala**
– dash of ground cloves
– salt and pepper to taste
– chopped fresh parsley and chives for garnish

*Note on ginger – store it in the freezer. Peel the skin off with the edge of a small spoon – yes, just after removing from freezer.

**Note on garam masala – if you don’t have this in the pantry, don’t fret. While it is a delicious and very aromatic spice blend – you may have enough of it’s contents to make up the difference. Garam masala is usually some mix of spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, peppercorns, mace, coriander and mustard seeds.

Advertisements

Simple Steps:
1. Boil 3 cups water for broth in an electric kettle or medium pot.
2. On medium low heat, melt butter in a 6quart soup pot and cook onions until translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Add in garlic, ginger, and celery and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the thyme for a brief toasting.
3. Pour the boiling water into the soup pot and stir in Better Than Bouillon. Add in the coconut milk and pumpkin.
4. Add curry powder, cloves, and garam masala.
5. Use the stick blender to cream the pumpkin and smooth out the soup.
6. Allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Yell, “Soup’s up!” to those you’ll feed. Dish it out and garnish with parsley and chives and a bit of fresh thyme. Accept compliments with grace.

Advertisements

Enjoy!

We really enjoyed this soup served with another fall favorite – fried green tomatoes with sriracha remoulade (vegan mayo)

See More Recipes

A note on using fresh herbs:

Advertisements

Fresh herbs just add so much more flavor. Here’s my guide on storing fresh herbs for best shelf life.

Veggie Scrambler

I grew up on breakfasts of cereal, pop tarts, toaster stroodles, and instant oatmeal packets. And I know I’m not an anomaly. Carb-heavy breakfasts are as American as Type 2 Diabetes.

But someone smarter than me -namely Maya Angelou, maybe you’ve heard of her – once said, “When you know better, do better.”

So when I realized that fresh flavorful vegetables are so good for breakfast, I started to do better for breakfast.

Advertisements

Fast forward, it’s 2021 and I’ve been going out to brunch once a weekend for 6 months, over 20 unique locations, and I think it’s safe to say that not once have I ordered a veggie scramble. Because, thanks I’ll pass on the mushy canned mushrooms.

Mushrooms, peppers, spinach… all potentially great ingredients but here’s my veggie scramble game:

EGGPLANT!!!!! SUMMER SQUASH!!! KALE!!!! All so good, sautéed in a pan for just a little bit and then topped off with a couple over easy eggs.

Okay, pictures to prove it, and the first one even has a sunrise naturally backlighting it.

Just try summer squash for breakfast, please please please.

Advertisements

Eggplant is another one that is just so often skipped over for breakfast but it is so yummy when it’s cooked just right.

Kale, swiss chard, collard greens, are you kidding. Starting your day with greens – well I don’t think you’re going to regret at least trying it. Sometimes I cook them, sometimes I just julienne the raw greens and top with the other goodies!

And one more suggestion: nutritional yeast – Okay, I really love cheese on my veggie scramble, but nutritional yeast is a fine alternative, that I call “cheesy nutty” as in, “Please pass the cheesy nutty,” and I’ll let you figure out its flavor profile on your own.

See More Posts

Autumn

Fall: Everything is death and mud and the sun is gone forever.

Also Fall:

Advertisements
Advertisements

How many times do I have to say…..

I’m wasting my time, talking to a wall over here. I know y’all are going to rake your leaves anyways.

 

But help me out here. What is the best way to convey this idea that we shouldn’t rake leaves?

Can I say it funny with a meme?


I do wish I could tell you who made this originally because it really makes me grin. 

 

May I offer a message of convenience?

The Washington Post reported about ‘leaving the leaves’ way back in 2016.  That is, just don’t rake your lawn. So simple. “For homeowners, there’s nothing better than when the optimal solution is also the lazy one.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/10/07/stop-raking-your-leaves/

 

Shall I try to tug at your eco-heart strings?

According to the National Wildlife Federation, “The marbled salamander  and eastern box turtle are among many bird, mammal, reptile, invertebrate and other species that rely on leaf litter for food and shelter.”

Source: USDA Forest Service https://www.fs.usda.gov/

Look at that cutie. You don’t want homeless little itty bitty box turtles weighing on your conscience all winter long, do you?

Butterfly pupae are probably in the leaf litter, too. Do you hate butterflies?

 

Alright, I know what you’re going to say.

  1. Turtles are never homeless. Their home is literally attached to them.
  2. Raking, it’s just what we’ve always done.
  3. My lawn will die if I don’t rake.
  4. My neighbors will hate me. They’ll call the town.

 

Let’s go one by one.

  1.  Good point, clown. Focus on the butterflies and salamanders.
  2. This is one of my top 3 most loathed statements. As the kids say, I can’t even with you right now. Go get a growth mindset and then we can talk. (Forgive me this silliness, please keep reading but also embrace change)
  3. Your lawn won’t die. But if you’re worried, how about getting scientific? Flag off a corner of your yard to leave the leaves. You know, control and variable. Remember 8th grade science? Create a hypothesis. Take pictures in the fall. Set a reminder to take pictures in April, May, June of next year. Send those pictures of your dead lawn to me and I will reimburse you what you paid for this article.
  4. If you do the above, how could your neighbors hate you? If your town calls, tell them to read up (or eff off).

 

I can’t wait to hear how much you hate this idea!
(It’s probably as much as you hate butterflies)

Monarch caterpillar, very hopeful that the raking will stop!