roast soup

October 13, 2010

I am finally getting pumpkins from the patch, and since it is fall, I feel like turning my oven on, and roasting things.

The other day, when I finished work, I was in the mood for some pumpkin soup, and had a few fresh chestnuts on the counter, some of the last tomatoes of the season (they were green and ripened on my counter), and home-grown garlic. I picked up some shallots and parsnips from the store, and roasted everything!

I sliced the pumpkin in half, saved the seeds, and cooked it cut side down in a pan of water.

I slit the chestnuts, peeled the shallots, and cut the top off of a head of garlic, and put them in my chestnut roasting pan. I drizzled olive oil over the garlic and shallots, and sprinkled some salt on the top. They roasted with the lid on!

In the third pan I mixed sliced parsnips, more shallots, also sliced, and the tomatoes. More olive oil, and a sprinkling of salt.

Everything roasted in the oven all evening. When I arrived home at the end of the night, I took everything out, scraped the pumpkin out of the shells, peeled the chestnuts, and put everything in a pot.

The vegetables cooked down, and many sugars carmalized!

In the morning, I added water and pureed the mixture with my stick blender.

I served the soup with freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. And a drizzle of toasted pumpkin seed oil, a real treat!

pies for francis

October 10, 2010

My sister and I think that Francis Thicke is the perfect candidate for Secretary of Agriculture in Iowa. I guess that is why we are spending Saturday night baking pies. Made with fresh local pumpkin and fresh local milk!

We wanted to do something to raise money for the Thicke Campaign, and decided to bake a whole lot of pumpkin pies to sell at the John Lennon Tribute Concert Reprise: to benefit the Francis Thicke Campaign. It should be a great concert, so stop on by! What a great excuse to support an awesome campaign!

Heli-Claire and I started with fresh pumpkins. We roasted them in the oven, and then scooped out the meat, mixed it with Radiance Dairy whole milk and cream, sour cream, sugar and spices. The recipe is from our grandmother!

We will have slices available for a donation, so if you are in the mood for some good music and a slice of pumpkin pie, stop by tomorrow (Sunday) night at 7:30 pm to Cafe Paradiso! All donations will go directly to the Thicke for Secretary of Agriculture Campaign.

green tomato chutney

October 3, 2010

When a recipe calls for 6 pounds of something, I need to realize that it will be big. Now I have a lot of jars of green tomato chutney. Cooked with apples, peppers, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, cumin, hot pepper, and clove.

I started out by slicing and x in the bottom of each tomato. Then I dropped them into boiling water so that the skins would come off easily. They didn’t. If anyone has any tips for removing the skins of green tomatoes, please let me know. I ended up leaving lots of skins on, especially on the tiny ones…I just didn’t have the patience.

While the tomatoes were draining with salt, I prepared the remaining ingredients. Apples, onions, shallots, and garlic. To this mixture I added the tomatoes, red wine vinegar, and salt.

And cooked, stirring frequently for about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, I ground up the spices:cloves, cumin, dried peppers, and yellow mustard powder. I added the spices, to the bubbling chutney, along with sugar, black currants, and more vinegar.

Then I cooked the mixture down and down. For quite a while longer. Til all the color was cooked out…and then jarred it.