I love fall. After yesterday's trip back from the mountains and seeing the leaves turning colors, I am more than ready to welcome a new season. So when this morning turned out to be cool and damp, I wanted to do fall things.
Here is in the deep South, we don't have lots of cold weather, so I took this chance to wear a shawl. I love to make them, but I don't always have that many opportunities to actually wear them. This was the Stripe Study Shawl that I just finished a couple of weeks ago. Just enough warmth on a cool morning.
While we were in the mountains, Jessica also got to wear the cowl that her good friend Maggie made for her. Jessica is an artist and is surrounded by artist friends who are all so creative. This cowl surely has that "artist's touch." And I am delighted to know that these young women are knitters! It's not just a pasttime for us grandmamas.
Now that brings me to this morning's activity in the kitchen. We have been so busy for the last few weeks that our cupboard is pretty bare. But I did have some random things that needed to be used up--several cans of pumpkin puree and half-and-half left from the bridal shower being at the top of the list. So I found a recipe for pumpkin soup. The original recipe came from the Mayo Clinic, but I changed it to use whole cans (don't want dabs leftover) and to use up the half-and-half and I had chicken broth on the shelf, not vegetable broth. Here is how I did it...
1/2 cup water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (15-oz) can pumpkin puree
1 (15-oz) can low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups milk or half-and-half
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a large saucepan, heat the water over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Don't let the onion dry out.
Add the pumpkin, broth, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to mix, using a whisk if necessary. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the half-and-half and cook until hot. DO NOT BOIL. Serve immediately. (You could garnish with chopped green onion, ground black pepper, or a drizzle of cream.)
This was ready in about 15 minutes and was good. It just tastes like fall. The Mayo Clinic version would be the healthier way to make it, but I needed to use what I had on hand. And if you wanted to, I think it could be made even richer if you used some heavy cream. The flavor was just right. I used my immersion blender to make the onion pieces a little smaller, but I didn't make it into a smooth soup. But do it however you like it. This is a soup recipe, not rocket science!
I let Daddy-O taste it and he declared it "not bad." That's good enough for me since he is not a soup lover. This would taste so good with some mini-corn muffins. Now, lunch is ready. And I'm going to spend some time this afternoon working on another shawl. Who knows, I might get to wear another one this year.
Edited to add: If you are reheating the soup, do so gently over low heat--not in the microwave. If you get it too hot, the milk will "break down." Still edible, but not as good. Ask me how I know.
I talked myself into making corn muffins to go with the soup. Yep, hot buttered corn muffins drizzled with a little honey were just the right accompaniment for the soup.