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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

Bollywood Pumpkin Soup

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This zippy seasonal soup offers silk and spice and everything nice. The cream and pumpkin create a sultry bed where the curry and coriander can frolic. So yummy, you’ll need a cigarette…wink, wink. Photo: Becca Henry.

SPICY PUMPKIN SOUP

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

Roasted Chicken and Tomatillo Soup

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Check out my tomatillo soup. I seared and roasted the chicken legs. Charred all the tomas, jalas, onions and garlic. Pureed all the veg, shredded the chix. Simmered and added more chix stock. Added black beans. And yes, I could have stopped there. Oh no. I then fried corn tortillas in the chix fat for a garnish. I could be satisfied, but no. I then fry the chix skin to a bacon-like crispness and you can see it nestled in the dollop of greek yogurt. I am overwhelmed. My eyes are watering from the spice; I’m hiccuping from the tart, sweet ‘n sour flavor of tomatillos. It’s not pretty but dang, I’m happy. Photo: Becca Henry.

TOMATILLO SOUP

Potato Gratin

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This is probably a lighter version than you’re used to. I used milk versus cream and less cheese, but I did add layers of mushrooms and onions sauteed in duck fat and topped it with fresh baguette crumbs also sauteed in duck fat. Lighter…really? Regardless, it’s one delicious little potato lasagne. I also added some herbs like chive and lavosh from the garden. Best tip…don’t be stingy with the salt! Those taters are thirsty. Photo: Becca Henry.

Ideas for the next attempt.
1. Add a layer of bread crumbs inside as well as on top to absorb all the milk.
2. Flavor the milk with spice like nutmeg and bay leaf. Maybe try half and half.
3. Add a layer of greens like spinach or kale.

POTATO GRATIN

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