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National Pumpkin Day: Let’s Celebrate with Pumpkin, Poblano, and Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

October 26th is National Pumpkin Day so let’s live it up with this spicy and satisfying soup!

Aside from being just plain delicious, the aroma of roasting squash and then chiles will make your kitchen smell like Fall with a capital F. You can certainly use canned pumpkin here, but there’s something to be said for diy-ing it—the slightly caramelized edges, the satisfaction of scooping out the velvety goodness from the golden pumpkin shells—it’s all part of this soup’s charm. That said, we all have jobs and responsibilities and using canned pumpkin is certainly a valid life choice. I am not judging. Promise.

But after all of the roasting and/or chopping, this soup comes together fairly quickly. Ideal garnishes include fried tortilla strips and chopped cilantro (or maybe even roasted pumpkin seeds or shredded cabbage) and if you want to substitute the pumpkin, an acorn or a butternut squash will do the trick nicely while still keeping the autumn theme intact.

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, and Manchego Soup
About 4 main course . . . → Read More: National Pumpkin Day: Let’s Celebrate with Pumpkin, Poblano, and Manchego Soup

Chana Dal Chowder with Turmeric, Ginger and Garlic

Chana Dal Chowder with turmeric, ginger, and garlic

Feeling a little meh? Forget the chicken noodle soup, this is what you want when you’re craving a big bowl of comfort!

This is a meal for chilly days or sleepy evenings when you’re not quite sure if you’re catching a cold or if you just need to recharge. It’s thick and hearty and satisfying in a way you’d expect a chowder to be but with only a small amount of cream.

Chana dal beans* are a type of split chickpea (a Dezi chickpea to be precise) that sort of resembles a yellow split pea in appearance. They are very high in fiber and typically used in traditional Indian cooking. And once you stock your kitchen with a bag or two of these small and sunny yellow legumes, you will find that you will want to use them in all kinds of things—soups, stews, even hummus.

That said, you can also use the same amount of plain ol’ brown lentils in this chowder instead. And if you want to swap the broth for diet or convenience, go ahead and use a vegetable or a chicken one.

. . . → Read More: Chana Dal Chowder with Turmeric, Ginger and Garlic

FFwD: Green-as-Spring Pork Stew

Green as Spring Pork Stew

Originally, this French Fridays with Dorie recipe called for veal. I haven’t really eaten veal since becoming an un-vegetarian (uh, 1994 1995?) and I didn’t really see the need to use it here. Not when there’s…PORK! So, yeah, I subbed the veal for pork shoulder. And I also made mine more broth-y by using a little bit less meat and adding some wine to de-glaze the pan.

There are a number of steps to this and it’s kind of a big production, so it’s probably best for a weekend project. It’s very light and spring-ish for a stew. And as another surprise, jwa really liked this, which was surprising, since he’s not really a fan of the stew.

So, the next somewhat chilly weekend day before summer really kicks in, you may want to consider this one!

Here’s a link to all the French Friday with Dorie posts so you can see how nice this also works with the veal!

Green as Spring Pork Stew

Green as Spring Pork Stew

Green as Spring Pork Stew

Green as Spring Pork Stew

. . . → Read More: FFwD: Green-as-Spring Pork Stew

FFwD: Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India, with Cilantro Pistou

FFwD: Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India

This, like all of the French Fridays with Dorie Indian-influenced recipes this was good, but I wanted a little more…something. It was a very nice rainy, cold weather meal though. The only substitutions I made were hul-less barley for the pearl barley and a sweet potato for the parsnip – only because these were the ingredients I had and I didn’t want to go out and get pearl barley and a parsnip. Lazy.

The recipe for the soup can be found online here at the Chicago Tribune.

I decided to give mine a little more ooomph. One of my favorite French soups are the ones with a pistou on top – so that’s what I did here. The verdict: it was really good. We ate the rest of the pistou with some crackers (which is how most pistou/pesto leftovers come to their end here).

Here’s a link to everyone’s vegetable barley soups this week. And the Cilantro Pistou recipe is below.

FFwD: Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India

FFwD: Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little <span style= . . . → Read More: FFwD: Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India, with Cilantro Pistou

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Chorizo Chili

Pumpkin Chicken Chorizo Chili

Well, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Do you have an extra can of pumpkin puree? Want something delicious to do with it? Well, read on.

This is honestly one of the best things I have ever made in my slow cooker. Seriously. And of course, this is exactly the time of year that everyone has a can of pumpkin puree in their cabinet, pumpkin puree stored in the freezer, or can easily go get a can at the store. After making this, you may just start stocking up on some year-round. If you didn’t know there were no tomatoes in this chili, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell. Eight hours and the canned pumpkin and all of the other ingredients do something rather magical together. jwa doesn’t even like chili and he loves this chili.

I find the chorizo adds enough heat for me, but you may want more. If so, just serve with some hot sauce.

And like a lot of chili recipes, this one has a secret ingredient – smoked chocolate chips. In the recipe below, I just listed bittersweet chocolate chips, but if you are feeling extra ambitious or . . . → Read More: Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Chorizo Chili