Curried Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup.

Pumpkin welcome

It has been very cold here in Seattle for the last few days and we have been enjoying one of my favourite winter soup recipes. This is a very inexpensive and nutritious soup that I often make in large quantity so that we can enjoy it throughout the week. I have adapted and combined ingredients from several recipes to come up with this one. Unfortunately we rarely have enough winter squash in our own garden. I like to use Queensland Blue or other sweet dry pumpkin. Butternut, acorn or whatever is your favourite will work just as well. Also you might like to add the stock slowly – consistency will depend on what type of pumpkin or winter squash you use. If you like a really thick soup you may not want to add as much liquid. Enjoy and welcome friends to your table to enjoy it with you.

===============
Curried Pumpkin Soup Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

– 2 each garlic,peeled
– 1 onion,peeled and quartered
– 2 tablespoons Olive oil
– 4-5 lbs. pumpkin –
– 4 cups chicken Or Vegetable stock
– 2 teaspoons Hot curry powder
– 1 teaspoon Turmeric
– Pinch Of Cayene Or Chipotle
– Pepper
– 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
– freshly ground pepper
– 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds,Shelled Raw
– 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
– 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
– 2 cans lite coconut milk
– 1 1/2 cup dry white wine
– 2 cups dry black beans, cooked for 1 hour
METHOD:

1. Soak beans overnight in large saucepan. cook until soft (about 1 hour). Set aside.

2.Place garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Set aside. Place jalapeno in food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

3. Slice pumpkin in large wedges, remove seeds & string. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet cut side down. Bake at 350 until the flesh is fork tender (about 1 1/2 hours. Peel pumpkin and puree half pumpkin. Cut remainder into small chunks. At same time cut onions into wedges, coat with oil and bake until brown and soft – about 1 1/2 hours. Set aside. Add onion to food processor. Pulse until fine. Alternatively dice onion and cook in large stock pan until translucent.

4. Add all remaining ingredients except pumpkin seeds & parsley to the stock pan. Bring to boil, Reduce heat and cook about 8 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, heat remaining tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and remaining 1/2 t salt and cook for about 30 seconds, shaking pan constantly to prevent burning, until all the seeds have popped. Remove from heat and add parsley.

6. Stir puree back into the soup. Adjust seasonings, and stir in the cream or yoghurt, if desired. We love to serve it with a big dollop of Greek yoghurt. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds.
SERVINGS: 12

 

===============

Advertisements

Refreshing Drinks from the Garden for the Hot Days

Chocolate mint makes great iced tea

Chocolate mint makes great iced tea

Citrus and Mint Iced Tea

I make this tea throughout the summer, though with the way the weather has been in Seattle this year I have not thought about it until this week. It is both refreshing and thirst-quenching, and uses some of the garden produce. We always have an abundance of mint as I grow apple, chocolate and spearmint. All of them work well for this recipe though the chocolate mint is stronger in flavour and so you will need less.

I am hoping that when my seaberry bushes start producing I will be able to substitute their juice for the orange juice. If you grow it in the garden substitute lemon verbena for the lemon juice.

Last year I posted an article about how our food choices are manipulated by the global mall.  I talked about Stevia:

which is 10 times sweeter than sugar, easy to grow  and with virtually no calories.  However it was banned from the American market about the same time that Monsanto introduced its artificial sweetener aspartame because an “anonymous firm” lodged a complaint with the FDA  Read more

This year I  don’t have any stevia plants because the harvest last year was so abundant.  I miss the enjoyment of getting our visitors to sample the incredibly sweet leaves.  So now I find myself needing to experiment with using it as a sweetener.  I harvest the leaves when the branches look as though they are about to flower and dry them in the microwave – it only takes a minute or two.  I usually start with 30 seconds then continue in 10 second increments until the leaves are just dry.  When they cool down they will be totally dry.

At this stage I use stevia mainly for beverages, though my friend Cheryl has found that adding 5 stevia leaves straight off the plant to a pot of pears before she cooks them is ample to sweeten home preserved fruit.

I make a Ginger Stevia syrup that I then add to different summer beverages.

GINGER STEVIA SYRUP

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 – 2 tablespoon dried stevia, crushed – I use a mortar and pestle
  • ¾ cup ginger root, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • ¼ cup lemon juice or 1/2 cup lemon verbena leaves chopped
  • 1 cup mint leaves (optional)

Bring water to boil. Add ginger & stevia, as well as the lemon verbena and mint if you are using them.  Boil for 10 minutes, strain into a heat resistant container. Add vanilla and lemon juice. This syrup will store in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Homemade Stevia ginger ale

I first started making this recipe when I discovered that most ginger ales have no ginger in them at all and were usually full of high fructose corn syrup.

Add 1-2 oz syrup to a glass depending on how sweet you like your drinks, top with 6 oz sparkling water and ice cubes. Enjoy.

Citrus/ Mint Iced tea punch

  • 8 teaspoons Loose Leaf red or black tea Or 8-10 Teabags (I like to use fruit flavoured teas
  • l cup (or more) Fresh Mint Leaves
  • 8 cups Boiling Water
  • 1 cup Orange Juice – or seaberry juice if you have this available
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice – or use lemon verbena from the garden
  • 1 Orange, Cut Into Thin Slices
  • 1 Lemon,Cut Into Thin Slices
  • 1 Lime,Cut Into Thin Slices
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ginger stevia syrup
  • 2 litre bottle sparkling mineral water or soda water.

This is a favourite for our summer BBQs & picnics. Put tea & mint in a heat resistant glass or ceramic pot. Pour in the boiling water & steep for 30 minutes. Strain & refrigerate. Pour into a large pitcher. Add orange juice. Add orange, lemon & lime rinds. Add ginger syrup & mineral water and serve with ice cubes.  If you prefer a more lemony flavour add 1/2 cup lemon juice or a cup of lemon verbena leaves to the tea mix.

For more stevia recipes visit sugarfreesteia.net

Cooking with Quinoa

Quinoa - a versatile grain

Quinoa – a versatile grain

For our time on Camano on Monday I made a delicious quinoa salad and thought that you might appreciate the recipe. Quinoa has the most protein of any grain,and the highest fat content. It’s a great source of vitamins & minerals, and is considered a complete protein so if you are not familiar with this grain then you need to be. I particularly love a mix of red, black and white quinoa if you can find it. (available here at Trader Joes or as separate grains at PCC).

Quinoa originated in the Andean region of Bolivia, Peru, Equador and Columbia where it has been cultivated for 3-4,000 years. It seems to grow well here in the Pacific NW though I do not grow it because of lack of space. – maybe when we get the garden at the Mustard Seed Village going.

I enjoy it both as a hot vegetable – great for adding stir fry vegetables from the garden – or as a salad. It is really great for a picnic as it stays fresh without refrigeration. This recipe is like Tabbouleh but with quinoa instead of bulgar wheat. You can in fact use any vegetables in the salad – the one I made on Monday had mainly greens, peas and onions from the garden.

Quinoa Salad

INGREDIENTS:

– 2 cups Quinoa
– 2 cups Parsley,Coarsely Chopped
– 1/2 cup Fresh Mint,Coarsely Chopped
– 2 lbs. Tomatoes,Chopped
– 1 lg Cucumber,Chopped
– 2 md Sweet Onion,Chopped
– 3/4 cups Olive Oil
– 3/4 cups Lemon Juice
– 2 sm Yellow Zucchini,Chopped
– 1 each Garlic,Crushed

METHOD:

1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Add quinoa and cook covered for 15 minutes. Turn off and let stand. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool. Add tomatoes, cucumber, squash, onion, parsley, and mint. Mix well Add remaining ingredients and miz again. Let stand for at least an hour before serving.

Quinoa stir fry

INGREDIENTS:

– 4 cups cooked quinoa
– 1 stalks celery
– 1 sweet bell pepper, chopped in small pieces
– 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
– 1 large onion, chopped in small pieces
– 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
– 1 green zucchini , sliced
– 1 yellow zucchini , sliced
– 2 cups swiss chard or spinach, chopped
– 1/2 cup dried tomatoes
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
– 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
– 1 bay leaf
– 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
– 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
– 1/2 teaspoon cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
METHOD:

1. Heat olive oil on medium low in a 3 – 4 qt saucepan or sauté pan. Saute onions until translucent add garlic & ginger, sauté with mustard seeds for 5 minutes

2. Chop celery, zucchini, mushrooms and red pepper, add to pan and sauté another five minutes.

3. Mix in the bay leaf, turmeric, coriander &; cumin

4. Add the quinoa and stir until mixed.

5. Stir in the optional greens, and fresh ground pepper

6. Cover and cook 5 more minutes, then serve – or refrigerate and serve chilled as a salad.

Pear and Raspberry Bread – A Delicious Alternative to Banana Bread

I have fallen in love with pear and raspberry bread which is a favourite in Australia at coffee shops for morning and afternoon coffee. It is one of my fond memories of visits with my Mum. I have been thinking about making this with some pears I have that are a little beyond fresh use.

It is usually served toasted with butter (yum) though it is always good plain too. I prefer it to banana bread though I have never found it offered here in the U.S.

This recipe is adapted from the one I found at bestrecipes.com.au

INGREDIENTS:

– 3/4 cup whole grain or wheat flour
– 3/4 cup all purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/3 cup brown sugar
– 1/2 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
– 1 egg
– 3/4 cup canola oil
– 2/3 cup milk
– 1 pear, peeled and chopped
– 1/2 cup raspberries, do not thaw if using frozen
METHOD:

1. Preheat oven to 180 C or 350 F

2. Sift flour, baking powder, soda. Stir in sugar and nuts

3. beat egg and oil together. Add to mixture, stir in milk, add pear and raspberries and gently sir into mixture until just combined

4. bake in a greased loaf tin for about 60 minutes, until golden brown. Leave in tin to cool

What Do You Do With All Those Tomatillos?

Tomatillos galore - make good hot sauce

Tomatillos galore - make good hot sauce

This post is by special request from my good friend Andy Wade who obviously has more jalapenos in his garden than he knows what to do with.  And as we look as though we will be getting a bumper crop of both tomatillos and apples too this year I thought that it was a good time to publish this recipe.  You can also find it along with other recipes for the autumn harvest in my book To Garden with God

I have adapted the traditional hot sauce recipe which usually uses tropical fruit to work with fruit & vegetables that are abundant in the Pacific Northwest. This makes a great accompaniment to tortilla chips.  We also love it on omelettes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. Hot Peppers,Cayenne,
  • Bulgarian Carrot Or
  • Jalapeno
  • 3 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 6 each Garlic
  • 1 Onion
  • ½ cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 lbs. Tomatillos
  • 2 lbs. Apple,Cored & Sliced
  • 2 lbs. Carrot

METHOD

1.Cut stems off peppers & put in quart jar. Fill jar with vinegar, cover and let marinate for at least 5 days to 2 weeks. When ready to prepare hot sauce pour peppers and vinegar into blender and puree. Add remaining ingredients & puree as well. Move to large pot and simmer uncovered on low heat stirring frequently for about one hour – until sauce is consistency of tomato sauce. Pour into sterilized jars. Let flavours blend for at least a week before using. Stor in refrigerator after opening.

My Favourite Apple/Blackberry Crisp

We have 3 apple trees in our parking strip that usually produce far more apples than we can possibly eat fresh.  We also love to harvest wild blackberries which grow in great profusion in the Pacific NW.  This last weekend we headed up to Camano Island for that purpose and because the apples on our trees are not ready yet I pulled some out of the freezer.
Apple and blackberry crisp is a favourite of ours during the apple season.  Packets of apples and blackberries can be frozen so that this can be enjoyed throughout the winter.
INGREDIENTS:
– 4 cups Apples,Peeled & Sliced
– 2 cup Blackberries
– 1/2 cup Sugar
– 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
– 1 cup Wheat Flour
– 1 cup Granola Or Rolled Oats
– 1/2 cup Butter,Melted
– 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
– 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
– 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
METHOD:
Preheat oven to 350℉ .  Mix in a greased 9″ deep baking pan – apples, blackberries, sugar, all purpose flour.  Combine remaining dry ingredients in a bowl, add melted butter and sprinkle mixture over apples & blackberries.  Bake 30-45 mins.  Serve warm or cold with ice cream or custard

We have 3 apple trees in our parking strip that produce far more apples than we can possibly eat fresh.  We also love to harvest wild blackberries which grow in great profusion in the Pacific NW.  Apple and blackberry crisp is a favourite of ours during the apple season.  Packets of apples and blackberries can be frozen so that this can be enjoyed throughout the winter.
INGREDIENTS:
– 4 cups Apples,Peeled & Sliced- 2 cup Blackberries- 1/2 cup Sugar- 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour- 1 cup Wheat Flour- 1 cup Granola Or Rolled Oats- 1/2 cup Butter,Melted- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon- 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 350℉ .  Mix in a greased 9″ deep baking pan – apples, blackberries, sugar, all purpose flour.  Combine remaining dry ingredients in a bowl, add melted butter and sprinkle mixture over apples & blackberries.  Bake 30-45 mins.  Serve warm or cold with ice cream or custard

Using Homegrown Stevia

Last year I posted an article about how our food choices are manipulated by the global mall.  I talked about Stevia:

which is 10 times sweeter than sugar, easy to grow  and with virtually no calories.  However it was banned from the American market about the same time that Monsanto introduced its artificial sweetener aspartame because an “anonymous firm” lodged a complaint with the FDA  Read more

This year I have two stevia plants thriving in my backyard and enjoy getting our visitors to sample the incredibly sweet leaves.  So now I find myself needing to experiment with using it as a sweetener.  I harvest the leaves when the branches look as though they are about to flower and dry them in the microwave – it only takes a minute or two.  I usually start with 30 seconds then continue in 10 second increments until the leaves are just dry.  When they cool down they will be totally dry.

At this stage I use stevia mainly for beverages, though my friend Cheryl has found that adding 5 stevia leaves straight off the plant to a pot of pears before she cooks them is ample to sweeten home preserved fruit.

I make a Ginger Stevia syrup that I then add to different summer beverages.

GINGER STEVIA SYRUP

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 – 2 tablespoon dried stevia, crushed – I use a mortar and pestle
  • ¾ cup ginger root, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • ¼ cup lemon juice or 1/2 cup lemon verbena leaves chopped
  • 1 cup mint leaves (optional)

Bring water to boil. Add ginger & stevia, as well as the lemon verbena and mint if you are using them.  Boil for 10 minutes, strain into a heat resistant container. Add vanilla and lemon juice. This syrup will store in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Homemade Stevia ginger ale

I first started making this recipe when I discovered that most ginger ales have no ginger in them at all and were usually full of high fructose corn syrup.

Add 1-2 oz syrup to a glass depending on how sweet you like your drinks, top with 6 oz sparkling water and ice cubes. Enjoy.

Citrus/ Mint Iced tea punch

  • 8 teaspoons Loose Leaf red or black tea Or 8-10 Teabags
  • l cup Fresh Mint Leaves’
  • 8 cups Boiling Water
  • 1 cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Orange,Cut Into Thin Slices
  • 1 Lemon,Cut Into Thin Slices
  • 1 Lime,Cut Into Thin Slices
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup stevia syrup
  • 2 litre bottle sparkling mineral water or soda water.

This is a favourite for our summer BBQs & picnics. Put tea & mint in a heat resistant glass or ceramic pot. Pour in the boiling water & steep for 30 minutes. Strain & refrigerate. Pour into a large pitcher. Add orange juice. Add orange, lemon & lime rinds. Add ginger syrup & mineral water and serve with ice cubes.  If you prefer a more lemony flavour add 1/2 cup lemon juice or a cup of lemon verbena leaves to the tea mix.

For more stevia recipes visit sugarfreesteia.net