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.




  1. I just made butternut squash soup this evening! Since I'm a vegetarian, I used all vegetable stock and local butternut squash. I always enjoy it with a slice of goat cheese!

  2. Girl, this looks delicious! Nick & I have become more and more interested in organic and local food, and I'm lucky that there is a Whole Foods store right next to the store where I work part-time! Woot. I drop by there before AND after work some days just for a healthy bite to eat from the to-go section.
    I hope you're going well. I think Nick & I are coming to California in the spring sometime for a few days vacation, probably San Francisco! So if I do, hopefully you and I can meet in person and grab a coffee. It's so cheap for us to fly to California, I couldn't believe it....If we fly from Bellingham, Washington (about 20 minutes south of the Canadian border, really close to where we live)...We only have to pay 125$ roundtrip to Cali! ....As an overtaxed Canadian, I can't believe that value.
    Cannot wait to see more of the west coast!
    Hope you're doing swell!

  3. Also- we're really lucky that Vancouver has a TON of farmers markets and a really big push on local/organic/sustainable.

    Also- I know you don't live in SF but perhaps you'll be able to make it down!

    ALSO- I read the funniest quote about Vancouver from the author of "Stuff White People Like"... Made me laugh outloud.
    "... They have out-yogaed Los Angeles, out-Asian-fetished San Francisco, and out-outdoored Seattle. All three are nearly impossible tasks and yet Vancouver has been able to pull them off!" ...Bahahaha. An apt description of my new city. Too funny!

    Okay, I have outdone myself again with comments that are too long!

  4. Gene: I love the combination of butternut squash & goat cheese! Yum!
    Amada: I'm glad to know that you have so many fresh/local resources near you! Jonty & I were looking into moving to Vancouver, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen :.\ If I'm around this spring (I may be in the UK), I'd love to meet up with you in The City! Keep me posted with your plans :.)


I love comments almost as much as I love coffee. And both keep me going! <3