30 November 2010
Pumpkin Soup & Eating Local
Pumpkin Soup (amended from recipe found here)
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups cubed fresh pumpkin
1 teaspoon fresh parsley
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup reduced fat milk
5 whole black peppercorns
1. Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, & simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
2. Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a good processor or blender.
3. Return to pan & bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low & simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir in milk. Pour into soup bowls & enjoy with whole wheat bread or crackers.
This soup was yummy, but I might do some things different next time. First, I think I would add some other flavor: either curry spices, nutmeg, or other veggies. It may be that my cold has taken away my taste buds, but this soup seemed slightly bland to me. Further, I would definitely have thrown it all in the slow cooker for the day, rather than standing over it on the stove. But I'm a slow cooker kind of gal.
I love experimenting with new vegetables that are in season. There are so many reasons to shop seasonal & local. This morning, I read a great article in the December 2010 issue of Women's Health Magazine about one guy, Tyler Florence, who promotes eating from your locale. I thought I'd sum up his main points to emphasize their importance:
1. Locally produced foods don't add miles onto your meal, so they are greener.
2. They aren't pumped with preservatives to stay fresh while they travel to you.
3. They are harvested at a riper state, since they don't have to travel as long to get to you. (I might also add that Michael Pollan states in his book In Defense of Food that riper fruits have more nutrients, since it is at that point that the seeds are ready to germinate, & thus the plant wants its fruit to be the most enticing and/or to soften & fall off onto the ground in order to spread the seeds.)
4. Eating locally supports local jobs & community.
So run over to your farmer's market if you're lucky enough to still have them in your town, & try something new with the autumn produce it has to offer! Here's another delicious squash recipe to try. Or, if you have a day to spare, take a drive to a nearby farm, orchard, or ranch & get it straight from the source! Jonty & I are thinking of doing that later this week, weather permitting.