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I'll have an orange Christmas...(quick healthy soup)

Posted Aug 26 2008 11:09am
I have not wrapped a single present…have been having too much fun cooking and writing blog entries. Plus, I’m excited about heading home to the bay area tomorrow. In addition to love of family, it is also about love of ingredients that I cannot get here, so it's off to several haunts in the days to come. Here’s where I plan to stop during my first days home; they are all in Berkeley, minutes away from parents’ home (yippee!):

Monterey Market:

I need to drool over some beautiful produce. Baby bok choy, celeriac & satsumas are on my list…I’ll take some pics for future daydreaming.

Monterey Fish Market and Tokyo Fish Market:

I am going to make something fish-wonderful for the family—depends on what looks best and what won’t break the bank. I’m also hoping to surprise Dad with some oysters (the man can slurp them down). I'll be on the lookout for bonito flakes and konbu seaweed (both for making dashi stock) at Tokyo Fish Market. I know this may shock many, but I cannot find either here in Nacogdoches, TX.

Cheese Board Collective:

Wherefore art thou freshly baked sourdough cheese roll? Oh, how I’ve missed your tangy goodness. I will find you and your freshly baked cherry corn scone friends (and some haloumi and teleme, too) come Thursday morning when the collective reopens.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea (DAILY!!!):

Oh, Peet’s...there is no better coffee. Hallelujah for small pleasures.

Acme Bread:

There’s a bag of cinnamon bread with my name on it. No, really, there is—I called ahead. Acme bread gives all the other breads inferiority complexes; rightly so.

And if time permits, it’s over to the Ferry Building in San Francisco. I’ll bring the necessary paper bag to keep my breathing under control (you'll understand from the website alone). Again, will take pictures for future posts (and for some silent weeping).

But now back to the present.

No baking today. Ate the cherry scones for breakfast (so glad to have made them ahead) and finally got hungry again about an hour ago, so I whipped up a pumpkin soup with items in my pantry. Canned pumpkin is one of my go-to superfoods: so handy (and cheap) to keep around, loaded with nutrition (vitamin A, carotenoids, fiber—and very low in calories and fat), and high in versatility (breads, muffins, scones, smoothies, soups, and more).

I flavored this batch of pumpkin soup with sweet (dulce--not hot) smoked paprika (pimenton de la vera), ground cumin, and a bit of orange in place of some of the broth. If you don’t have pimenton, regular paprika is a fine substitution. Here’s a link for buying or reading more about pimenton: ).

Well, better get back to those presents while Nick and Kevin are still at the park.

I’ll be posting less in the days ahead (as I eat & talk myself silly), but will be back with a vengeance in the New Year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Smoked Paprika Pumpkin Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup (about 1 small) chopped onion

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 and 1/2 teaspoons pimenton (smoked paprika--dulce, not hot variety)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 and 1/2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 cup orange juice

1 15-ounce can solid pack pumpkin

1 12-ounce can fat free evaporated milk

Optional: fresh croutons, a sprinkle of pimenton

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the pimenton, cumin and salt; cook for 1 minute.

Whisk the broth, orange juice and pumpkin into the pan, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Whisk in the evaporated milk. Transfer mixture to food processor or blender (in batches, if necessary--or use a handheld immersion blender). Blend until smooth. Serve warm. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition per Serving:

Calories 138; Fat 4.7g (sat 0.7g, mono 3.4g, poly 0.5g); Protein 3.4g; Cholesterol 0mg; Carbohydrate 12.2g; Sodium 449mg.

(Note: I did the nutrition analysis using Diet Analysis Plus 7.0.1)
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