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Pesto Cauliflower Soup

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If you are like me, you make lots of pesto in the Fall and then need lots of recipes. When I discovered some cilantro almond pesto in the back of the freezer, I went on the search for a new recipe. The Washington Post has an easy and delicious solution, pesto cauliflower soup. I used chicken stock instead of veggie and added a can of cannelloni beans and lots of crushed red pepper. Lovely. Photo: Becca Henry.

CAULIFOWER PESTO SOUP

Lusty Pumpkin Sausage Soup

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a keeper….sausage pumpkin soup with a sprinkle of queso fresco. Made with the help of bacon, onion, serrano, chipotle, garlic, chicken stock and unabashed food lust. I don’t know what it is about this soup; it gives me the same feelings as when I watch Outlander….rawr.

R E C I P E

1 pkg (12 oz) of your favorite sausage (I used Aidells Spicy Mango with Jalapeno)
4-5 strips of bacon, cut into lardons
Any onion, medium, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper minced
1 tbs of chipotles in adobo
1 small can (15 oz) of packed pumpkin
1 box of chicken stock
2 bay leaves
crushed red pepper
1 chunk of crumbled queso fresco or feta

1. In a dutch oven or stock pot, saute the bacon until cooked, not crispy. (I bought cooked sausage and added it in step 2. If you are using raw, brown it with the bacon in step 1.)

2. Add onion with a pinch of salt and crush red pepper and saute until softened. Then add garlic, serrano, chipotle and cooked sausage. Cook a minute or two.

3. Add pumpkin and chicken stock and more salt. Scrape up any bits on the bottom. Bring to a low boil then simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Serve with crumbled queso fresco. Or try feta, goat cheese or ricotta. Tastes even better reheated.

Photo: Becca Henry

Pasta Salad Garbanzo-ganza!

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Here’s the first pasta salad of the season….so delightfully crazy with red peppers, garbanzos, onion, jalapeno, olives, cherry peppers, pumpkin seeds. And, a vinaigrette with garlic mustard, smoked paprika, sherry vinegar and a small dollop of greek yogurt to make it creamy. No recipe needed. While you boil your pasta in salted water, dice your veggies, grab a handful of nuts or seeds, and drain your beans. Then whisk up a vinaigrette. Assemble in a bowl and add your drained, hot pasta and toss. Tastes even better tomorrow! Photo: Becca Henry

Beer-battered Avocado Tacos

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Right now, avocados are a good deal with some markets selling them for 89 cents! I deep-fried several wedges in a beer batter and had delicious tacos for days. I added a lemon red cabbage slaw, bacon, pickled jalapeno, red onion and a romoulade sauce. Photo: Becca Henry

BEER-BATTERED AVOCADOS  |  REMOULADE SAUCE  |  RED CABBAGE SLAW

Spicy Shrimp ‘n Grits

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I knew I would have left over polenta so I purchased some shrimp. And, I am really glad I did. I marinated the shrimp in Frank’s RedHot for 15 minutes, then a quick saute in a cast iron skillet and lastly nestled them in a pond of herb cheese polenta (I used thyme and asiago). Delightful. Photo: Becca Henry

CREAMY POLENTA | FRANK’S REDHOT

Where’s Rosemary’s Bread Pudding?

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I am making all things rosemary to use up my garden’s bounty. This simple casserole makes an amazing little breakfast, lunch or side dish. Biggest tip…serve the day after when all the custard and bread have that much needed time in the fridge to meld into perfection. AND serve and room temperature. I have plans to slice and grill the leftovers topped with a soft egg. I can hardly wait. Photo: Becca Henry.

ROSEMARY BREAD PUDDING

Creamy Mushroom Cauliflower Soup

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I did a fridge raid and came to the conclusion that mushrooms are deceptively more than you bargain for. I’ve made vegetable soups before and usually think ho-hum….just not enough density of flavor to keep me satisfied.  Add cream and mushrooms and suddenly the soup is a hearty, silky meal.  I took this basic recipe for a creamy mushroom soup and added cauliflower, garlic and chives. Very satisfying. Next time. I’ll add shrimp shells to the broth for even more flavor. (Tip: always, always keep your shrimp shells in the freezer to make amazing sauces and broth.) Photo: Becca Henry.

INA GARTEN’S MUSHROOM SOUP