Sunday, November 8, 2009


We had this little pumpkin in the kitchen for a few weeks. Unfortunately, it was never carved into a terrifying jack-o-latern. It's ultimate destination turned out to be soup, and crunchy snacks.

In Spain, sunflower seeds are a popular snack amongst the young and old. They sell them at soccer games like we do beer at hockey games, kids have them at recess, and teenagers litter the streets with their shells. They become pro-sunflower seed peelers, and reach speeds that I never would have imagined were possible to eat the seed without getting any shell into your mouth. They also sell the less popular pumpkin seed to be eaten in the same way. So when I popped the seeds from our own pumpkin into the oven with some salt to be roasted to the perfect crunch, J was delighted at the result.

Onto the soup. We had some bacon in the fridge, it went into the pot until it was crunchy. I then took it out and it hung out on some paper towel while the process continued. In the bacon fat went an onion. Recipe called for a large onion, but the onion I used deserves no adjective less than GINORMOUS. It was nearly the size of the pumpkin. While that browned, I continued to peel and chop the pumpkin. Normally I bake a squash for a bit so that the skin just peels right off, this soup was done a whim so I peeled it raw with a knife, much more time consuming, though neater. Once the onion was brown, I added some stock (knorr, again, on a whim, no time to thaw out the frozen stuff), and then the pumpkin. All of this came to a boil, then simmering went on until the pumpkin was soft. I zapped this into a cream, added some cinnamon, salt, pepper, and chili sauce. You know that giant bottle of bright red chili sauce that they have in Asian restaurants? That kind. The bacon went in last and was served.

The result was yummy, the combination of cinnamon and chili was really nice, and the bacon, well, it was in it's glory. Among all that veg, it sung all the high notes whenever you got a piece!

In the picture (close up, second bowl, I need to practice this artsy side), a piece of sundried tomato and olive bread from Boko bakery is sitting pretty. This bread is amazing. If you have a chance to try it, you must!

The Peeler in the Mail

Someone over at the kitchen gadget brand Oxo is apparently a fan of my blog! It's not everyday that you open your mailbox to find a giant envelope from Phildelphia, containing a potato peeler. It's a great potato peeler, it's got a pretty long blade, and has a potato eye remover.
Ok, so maybe it wasn't a fan of my blog that sent me this. Being on the wedding planning train, I signed up for something while browsing the wonder that is the Williams-Sonoma website, and a kitchen gadget was part of the deal. Still exciting though! Oxo, I look forward to peeling many potatoes and carrots with this baby!

A garnish attempt - Curried Asparagus

Holy long time no soup! It hasn't actually been that long, just that life has gotten in the way of blog updates. No worries friends, I remembered to take photos of the few soups that have happened.

Curried asparagus. This happened because I realized that we had a bunch of asparagus that needed to be used asap. I'm so happy I did, as the result was delicious, not to mention that those beautiful little tips inspired me to attempt a garnish, something I don't usually do, which results in the pictures on my blog looking like bowls of baby food that I add different food colouring too.

I started off the recipe as usual, with some chopped onions at the bottom of the big pot. A fact about our kitchen: we have two pots, a big one, and a small one. Our kitchen isn't really big enough for a third. The recipe that I referenced called for the curry powder to be added to the onions, so in they went. Then I added some stock, beef stock from one of the stocking attempts, it worked out well. Then in went the chopped asparagus, and some potatoes. That was brought to a boil, and I added some tarragon, cardamom and pepper for good measure. Simmer, simmer simmer, then zap with the handy dandy blender.
The beauty of this soup was that it was really filling. J had recently undergone soup overload, it went something like this: "I'm tired of soup!". We had curry that night. But the next day at lunch, which is when he tried this soup, he called to comment on how delicious and filling it was. It had a really rich aroma. (first sentence ever written using 'aroma', thoughts?). For the phone call complement, and the aroma that had people popping up from their cubes with bright eyes looking for the source of the aroma, I'm going to give this soup 5 Oslos, the first!