Pumpkin Acorn Squash Soup

If I’m not tweaking someone else’s recipe, I’m developing my own. Although recipe development seems really high-tech and makes me sound way cooler then I am. In truth, I’m not that high-tech or cool, the process is pretty simple and goes something like this:

1.) What do I feel like eating? Some days this is clearer than others. There are days when I sit around for a long time trying to decide what I feel like. Those are often the days you get smoothie recipes. 🙂

2.) What do we have in the house?

3.) Based on what we have, what looks interesting and inspiring on Tastespotting, Foodgawker, Epicurious or other food blogger’s sites?

Then I pull up a word doc and start writing out an ingredients list. Then I cook. If the recipe turns out worth sharing I then write the directions out for you all, adjusting the ingredients to match how I made something. If the recipe sort of sucks, you get pictures of my dog!

Today the recipe did not suck, in fact, it was down right tasty. And I’m sorry that you’re getting another pumpkin recipe but you can omit it if you’re all pumpkin’d out. I just happen to have 1/2 a can leftover from the smoothie yesterday. I also used the other 1/2 of the jalapeno from Monday’s juice as I try to use up what’s left in the fridge before Michael leaves for London for work and I head to Chicago for my mom’s birthday weekend.

Pumpkin Acorn Squash Soup

1 acorn squash, roasted, fleshed scooped out

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 apple, cored and chopped

2 ribs celery, diced

1 onion, diced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1/2 jalapeño, diced

1/2 can pumpkin puree

4 cups veggie stock

1 tablespoon cumin

1 bay leaf

salt to taste

————

Preheat oven to 375.

Carefully cut the acorn squash in half.

Scoop out the seeds, lay face down on a sprayed cookie sheet and prick with a fork a few times. Roast for 30 minutes or so until a fork can slide through easily.

In a stockpot over medium high heat, saute apple, celery, onion and jalapeno in olive oil until tender.

Add vegetable stock.

Scoop squash out of skin and add to the pot with the 1/2 can of pumpkin puree.

Add cumin and bay leaf. Let soup come to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes.

Salt soup and remove bay leaf.

With an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. You can also do this in batches in a blender or a food processor.

This soup has the perfect balance of earthiness from the squash, sweetness from the apple and spiciness from the jalapeno. I serve with pepitas, sunflower seeds and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Enjoy!

All Things Apples

Warning, this is a very long post but there are two recipes at the end so I think it’s worth the read.

We had a really nice weekend. Lots of cooking and plant shopping and a wonderful dinner party with some friends where the food was spectacular, more on that later this week when I try to recreate an unbelievable roasted root vegetable dish.

But the highlight of the weekend was definitely the apples. While everyone else is going pumpkin crazy, all I can think about are apples. On Saturday I dragged Michael to a farm north of Boston. I wasn’t going to let my first New England fall pass without reaping the apple bounty and seeing the leaves change outside the city. We headed to Russell Orchards in Ipswich which did not disappoint. The produce held my personal attention but it’s also a great place for a family outing. The grounds had farm animals, hay rides and a pumpkin patch. We felt a little out of place but the 16 pound bag of apples and the huge acorn squash became my ‘babies’ of sorts. 🙂

The barn held all the apples, had a wine tasting counter, apple cider and donut making facilities. We were even able to find a gluten-free banana bread!

Some type of squash that looks like a goose.

Pumpkin patch.

So now what to do with said bounty?

My day started with apple cinnamon oats, black tea and an apple, jalapeno, celery, ginger juice. Wow was it spicy, kicked me right into gear on a Monday morning.

I gave Michael a choice of apple related recipes and he requested an apple crumble so I got started on that after breakfast.

Vegan Gluten-Free Apple Crumble

For the apples:

3 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced, save the peels

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger powder

1 teaspoon allspice

1 tablespoon maple syrup (or you can sub agave or plain white sugar)

For the crumble:

3/4 cup gluten-free oats

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons olive oil

————

Preheat oven to 350.

Peel, core and slice the apples. Save the peels.

In a big bowl, toss apple slices with cinnamon, ginger, allspice and maple syrup.

Grease a casserole dish, mine was 8×11. Dump in apples.

In the same bowl that you mixed the apples in, combine the topping ingredients.

Cover the apples with the topping.

Place in the oven for 40 minutes.

When I was little my dad always did an Oktoberfest menu at his restaurant. Part of the menu was an apple strudel and he was a pro at peeling apples in one long strip. I would sit on the counter and eat the peels while he cooked. I had too many peels to eat on my own today, although I ate a few for old times sake, but I didn’t want to waste the rest. So I baked them while the crumble was cooking.

Roasted Apple Strips:

Peels of 3 apples

1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

Dash of allspice

Dash of salt

Dash of sugar

Mix peels with spices, sugar and spice.

Place in greased casserole dish.

Bake at 350 while apple crumble is baking for 20 minutes. Stir part way through or they’ll burn on the bottom. The strips will be crunchy and perfect for a healthy mid afternoon snack.

Yum.

Enjoy!