Monday, October 29, 2012

Souper Easy Potato Soup (see what I did there?) (no dairy)

Hurricane Sandy was barrelling up the coast and I was glued to the weather channel for hours upon hours.  Someone on my facebook feed mentioned they'd made soup, and I suddenly thought "omg, we need soup too!".  We were under threat of losing electricity and since we heat and cook with electric, that means huge impact for us.  I figured if I made soup, I'd forget about the scary weather!  Ha.

Here's what I did.  You can adjust according to your own tastes, of course.

  • 8(ish) cups chicken broth - I used 1 pod of Knorr's new chicken bouillon that I've mentioned before to 3-1/2 cups of water - then another 4 cups of water mixed with 2 packages of goya brand vegetable seasoning/broth. 
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 5-7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. oil
  • 5-6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 good sized stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves

Optional:  bacon (I used real bacon pieces that you use on salads), cheddar cheese, green onion

  1. Lightly brown garlic in oil.  
  2. Add onion and celery and saute until soft.
  3. Add broth and potatoes.
  4. Simmer until potatoes are tender.
  5. Strain 3/4 of the potatoes out and mash.  You could do them all if you wanted, but I like chunky.
  6. Re-add mashed potatoes to soup.
  7. Add a couple of bay leaves.  I waited until this point so that the bay seasoning would not overtake the whole soup.
  8. Stir well - this should thicken your soup.  
If it's not thick enough, you could always add a couple of tablespoons of flour to some cold water (cold is important) - mix it until it's dissolved and then add to the soup, until it's to your liking.

I added bacon and cheddar to my own bowl, and it's absolutely delicious!

Potato soup garnished with cheddar cheese and bacon bits.

Friday, October 12, 2012

How to roast a pumpkin

Whenever I need to use pumpkin for a recipe, I always roast my pumpkins.  It's so much fresher tasting than using a canned pumpkin, and of course, there are no preservatives.

Roasting a pumpkin is simple.  This is for a pumpkin that is roughly 1-2 pounds (typically called a pie pumpkin).  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Spray the foil with cooking spray or, as I did this time, drizzle a small amount of (almond) oil.

Split the pumpkin in half. Scoop the seeds and other gunk out and set aside (roasted pumpkin seeds are awesome!).  Place the pumpkin halves open side down on the baking sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees (f) for 1 hour or until you can pierce the pumpkin easily with a fork.

Allow the pumpkin to cool for a few minutes before attempting to scoop out the "meat".  Once it's out, you're ready to add it to your soup or make that yummy pumpkin bread!  Enjoy!