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Cold Weather Recipes

Savory Pumpkin Soup (printable version)
Not sweet, but savory.  Great cold weather soup. Substitute Butternut squash for the pumpkin if you like. 

3 cups fresh pumpkin, mashed
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1.5 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk (even 1% is fine for lower calories & fat, higher content milk fat will yield a thicker, creamier soup)
3 tbsp margarine
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp parsley
˝ tsp nutmeg or to taste
1 tsp cinnamon or to taste
˝ tsp thyme
salt & pepper to taste 

Lightly sauté onion & celery until limp and translucent.  Add the chicken broth, flour, mashed pumpkin & milk.  Slowly bring to a rolling boil stirring constantly. Add parsley & remaining ingredients.  Adjust spices to suit your taste.  When thickened at the boil, remove to a blender or food processor & blend until slightly smooth.  Serve warm.

Fresh pumpkin is easily made by cutting a medium sized sugar pumpkin (about 8 to 10 inches in diameter; sugar pumpkins have a deep orange color & "deep" grooves in the body) into about 2 inch squares.  Steam over boiling water until very tender, about 15 minutes.  Allow to fully cool.  Cut away outer skin.  Mash pumpkin meat with a hand masher. 

1 medium sized pumpkin will yield about 2 to 3 cups of mashed pumpkin.

Homemade Croutons
Croutons are easy to make! Most any fresh or even day-old bread will do.

Large croutons for Onion Soup: French baguette sliced into 1" thick slices.

Small croutons for Pea Soup or Salads: any sliced bread you have around the house. Butter first (lightly) then cut into 3/4 inch cubes.

Place sliced and cubed bread on a baking sheet and bake for 30 - 40 minutes at 350° F or until browned. Turn over after about 20 minutes.

For garlic flavor, gently rub a clove of garlic on each bread piece before baking.


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