This Saturday we had a Fall Flavors Cooking Club with our friends, the Freelands and the Benedicts. Our original intention was to go apple-picking somewhere in the Valley and then bake with our pickings. After several days of searching the internet and making phone calls to local farms, I discovered we missed the boat this year on apple-picking. We'll have to plan a trip for next year to the illustrious Apple Hill. We decided on the Hillcrest Pumpkin Patch in Reedley as an alternative for some fall fun. The pumpkin patch was a winner with corn mazes, a hike up to a train, mounds of pumpkins to choose from and even a giant tree swing. After we frolicked in the fall weather we headed to the kitchen for some good eats.
The Pumpkin Soup was a recipe created right in the Freelands kitchen with some fresh ingredients we picked up at the Vineyard Farmer's Market, from Stacie's friend's farm and from the pumpkin patch. The result was a fabulous pureed soup with a secret ingredient - coconut milk - that made it memorable.
Pumpkin Party Soup
Ingredients: -2 tablespoons organic butter -1 red onion, chopped -2 cloves garlic, minced -1 small sugar pumpkin (2 cups, chopped) -4-5 sweet potatoes (2 cups, chopped) -1 medium butternut squash (2 cups, chopped) -1 quart organic vegetable broth -1 bunch bok choy or celery (1 1/2 cups, chopped) -2 teaspoons salt -1/2 teaspoon black pepper -2 teaspoons curry powder -1 15-oz. can organic coconut milk (We used light from Trader Joe's) -1/2 cup green onions, chopped for garnish
1. Chop onions and mince garlic. Add to large soup pot with butter. Cook until onions are translucent. 2. Meanwhile, get to work chopping the other veggies. Peel and quarter pumpkin, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Clean out any seeds and then coarsely chop hard flesh into 1-inch cubes. Add to soup pot. 3. Add vegetable broth and boil vegetables approximately 20 minutes until soft. 4. Add chopped bok choy (or celery). Add salt, black pepper, curry powder and cook 20 minutes more. 6. Using and immersion blender or other appropriate appliance, puree with soup in batches. When soup is smooth, add coconut milk. 7. Serve with green onions for garnish.
**We were blessed to have Nathan Freeland and my sweet hubby to help with the veggie chopping and pureeing of the soup, but if you want to save time you might consider squash that is already peeled and diced from places like Trader Joe's and Costco.
Here are some more of our favorite Fall Flavors recipes: