Curried Pumpkin Soup

In the spirit of Halloween tomorrow I wanted to share with you a simple pumpkin soup that so often graces my table as my door bell rings incessantly on Trick-or-Treat night.

It is warm, cozy, simple and delicious. This can be made with full fat half & half making it luxurious and extravagant or we very often mix in coconut milk instead. Whether you use coconut milk or half & half the pumpkins in this soup will give you a vitamin boost including beta-carotene & Vitamin A as well as calcium, potassium, and a bit of Vitamins C & K. Great way to balance out some of the sugar overload that starts tomorrow and doesn't seem to stop until January.

Use canned pumpkin or cook up your own. Preheat your oven to 375. Cut a pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds (and then roast them up for Pepitas). Place flesh side of the squash up and bake for 30-45 minutes until a butter knife can gently cut into the flesh.

I grew that little cutie that accompanies the soup- can't wait to cook it up into something delicious. Maybe for tomorrow nights Trick or Treat!

Curried Pumpkin Soup

1 lg onion
2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
1 16oz can pumpkin or 2 cups cooked pumpkin
4 C chicken broth or non-chic vegetarian broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t curry powder
1/8 t nutmeg
2 C half and half or coconut milk
salt to taste
pepper to taste
chives and/or pumpkin seeds for topping

Sauté onions until golden brown. Add the pumpkin through the nutmeg and simmer uncovered 15minutes, stirring occasionally. Puree in food processor or blender. Returns to pan add half and half or coconut milk, salt and pepper. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Top with chopped chives and/or a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds.


Apple & Blue Cheese Salad with Maple Dressing

I have to apologize. It has been a silly amount of time since I last posted a blog. Just silly.

There are things going on that I am not quite ready to broadcast, but there is one I want to give a sneak peak of which is my latest & greatest project www.lillys-table.com. Please check out the splash page and sign up to be the first to be notified when we are live.

Another change is I invested in some new photography lights. To celebrate I invited over a few darling friends who showed up potluck style with many of my own recipes. We had a photo shoot with all of the model dishes and then we had a great feast!

I just had to share one of these photos and unlike my others it has not been touched up with Photo Shop, so please let me know what you think. We are happy to go back to touching up, but we weren't sure what we would change this time- so here it is in a post!

So, about the dish.... I am completely obsessed with Apples currently as they are so gloriously in season. Fennel while not quite as popular is also having its moment right now and the licorice flavor is subtle yet makes its own statement in this salad. If you prefer stronger flavors you could even try thinly sliced red onions. Paired with an Autumn inspired Maple Dressing, Pecans or Walnuts (your choice) and a sprinkle of blue cheese or even goat cheese- It is a quick & easy seasonal treat. Have it as a side or a main vegetarian salad.

Apple and Blue Cheese Salad with Maple Dressing
½ cup walnuts or pecans
Maple Dressing:
¼ cup orange juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
2 small or 1 large apple, fuji, gala, or jonagold
1 lemon, cut in half, optional to keep the apples from browning
4 ounce blue cheese or goat cheese
1 small fennel, trimmed and thinly slice
4 cups baby spinach

Preheat oven to 400. Toast the walnuts or pecans on a roasting pan for 4-6 minutes until just slightly golden.

Whisk together the orange juice, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil slowly into the dressing.

Cut the apples in half and remove the seeds and stems. Thinly slice the apples. If desired, rub the lemon on the slices to prevent them from browning. Thinly slice the blue cheese or crumble it.

Arrange the spinach on individual plates or a large bowl. Toss on the fennel slices, apple slices, walnuts and blue cheese. Drizzle the maple syrup on top.

Please enjoy and I promise to post with a little less ridiculous lack of frequency ;)