We have an exciting day today because we have a couple of friends cooking with us and I’m sure most of you know them — they are Mark and Reese of “Season with Spice.” I have been following their blog since it started early last year and let me tell you – just like what the title says; it’s all about herbs and spices and how its significance is highlighted and explained in every dish that Mark or Reese cook. When you visit their site, you will admire the beautiful photography and the simple, yet mouthwatering presentation of their dishes.
Okay I think I need to shut up now. So without further delay, please welcome Mark and Reese of “Season with Spice!” Cute couple. Aren’t they? Okay, seriously I’ll shut up now! :=)
“I tried an awesome recipe on Season with Spice,” my brother eagerly announced to me.
“You’re cooking now?” My eyebrows were up in astonishment, but my eyes revealed my anticipation of finally having my hard work in the kitchen recognized by my lifelong – albeit good-natured – competitor.
“I made those sweet, garlicky ones twice already. The ones with the ginger-sake marinade.” He was licking his lips now. “I’m seriously never making pork chops any other way.”
I quickly ran through the recipes in my head. “I never made any pork chops.” Then I suddenly remembered –it was Ray Gingco’s recipe featured on Season with Spice.
Months later, I am still hearing about those pork chops. Having tried them myself now, and other delicious recipes on Wok With Ray, I am very happy to be welcomed by Ray – one of my favorite home cooks – to share a fall recipe on his site.
Pumpkins at every stall at the farmers’ market, in piles outside the grocery store, and even in wagons at the end of long, gravel driveways throughout the Minnesota countryside. That’s where we had stopped unexpectedly last week on our drive home. Colored flags and a little sign drew our attention to a wagon full of pumpkins, and one wooden box in the corner to slip your dollar into. Yep, only $1 for a pumpkin.
It’s been cold this fall in Minnesota. As summer turned to fall on the night of September 21st, it snowed in Duluth. That crisp air reminds Minnesotans to make a choice – fly to Florida before it’s too late, or accept the impending months of dark and cold by cooking up some homemade soup.
After the past five years in the never ending heat of the tropics, I happily chose the latter and chopped up my dollar pumpkin and made a simple, healthy, warming Roasted Pumpkin Soup.
Pumpkins are well suited for the soup pot – the cooked yellow flesh is creamy, sweet, and rich. Very little needs to be added to create an amazing soup.
That goes for the spices as well. Keep it simple so as not to overpower the flavor of the pumpkin. Black pepper, bay leaves, and smoky ancho chili pepper will enhance the sweet and savory elements of the soup.
Enjoy with a side of hot-from-the-oven French bread. You’ll be full, smiling, and ready for the winter!
The majority of pumpkin soup recipes include milk or heavy cream, but I find the milky taste can overpower the flavor of the pumpkin, and isn’t really needed anyway since the blended pumpkin already provides a nice creamy texture. If you do want a slightly richer taste, I recommend stirring in 1 or 2 more tablespoons of butter during the simmering process.
To speed the process up, you can skip the roasting step, and instead cook the pumpkin on the stove.
Save the pumpkin seeds for roasting into a delicious fall snack.