becoming gourmet

a light hearted chronicle of my culinary ideas and adventures

Falling into Autumn


Well, there’s no denying it, Friday was the Autumnal Equinox, and we have officially entered the fall season!  High temperatures have slumped into the seventies here in Northern California (well, at least until Tuesday), we just had about 20 drops of rain (another sign of fall), and …  the first pumpkin of the 2011 season arrived in my CSA share!  So, I asked myself, what am I going to do with that pumpkin?

Last year, I’m pretty sure any pumpkins that routed my way ended up as home decor, but this year, I decided to accept the food challenge.  I actually can’t take too much creative credit beyond taking a look at the weekly newsletter that I get a couple days before my produce arrives and taking some initiative.  Each week a local chef thinks through what’s coming in our veggie box and provides recipe ideas to use them up.  This week there was a recipe for Pumpkin Soup with Tomatoes and Peppers.  He pointed out that we were at this unusual intersection where the pumpkins are starting to come into their own, and yet we still have tomatoes and peppers available.  I decided the seize the day and make some soup.   Carpe diem, baby!

First, I had to start roasting up some peppers.  I had two big ole’ bags of them left from the prior weeks’ shares so I decided to roast up a couple large batches and freeze the the leftovers that weren’t needed for the soup.

Next, I got the other ingredients into the pot.  Onions, garlic, tomatoes (from those I froze the prior week), chili powder and salt (see the newsletter for full recipe).  Then, I peeled and diced the pumpkin like you might a cantaloupe and put that in the ‘hot tub’ too.

I let that cook until the pumpkin became tender.  In pondering the mixture simmering away, I decided that my mind’s eye wanted to see something a little more like a creamy butternut squash soup, so I whipped out an immersion blender a pureed it up.  I liked  the way all the flavors were then married (albeit forcibly).  In the meantime, I also decided to roast some of the pumpkin seeds for a topper and, guilty as charged, a snack while writing this blog :-P.

After having a helping of soup for lunch, I let the soup cool down and froze it for some future meals!

On Roasted Peppers

As a related aside to the above posting, I’m always surprised to see how much food volume seems to change once you process down veggies.  Out of two grocery bags of peppers, I end up with about three ziploc sandwich bags of roasted peppers (granted I did weed out a couple peppers that had gone to the bad) … I guess it was about 20 ounces of peppers, but still.  Wow.

For the rest of those peppers, as mentioned, I tucked some of them away for future use (ie. froze them).  If I get more pumpkins down the line, I have some of the ingredients ready to go for pumpkin soup – round two.   Or, maybe I’ll whip up some romesco sauce, some red pepper pesto, or use them as toppers – for sandwiches or a pretty/tasty garnish for a dish.

Welcome to Autum folks!



posted under Foodie Chatter

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