Back into your garden-beds!
Here come the holidays!
And woe to the golden pumpkin-heads
Attracting too much praise.
Hide behind the hoe, the plow,
Cling fast to the vine!
Those who come to praise you now
Will soon sit down to dine.”
– Grace Cornell Tall, To Pumpkins at Pumpkin Time
This time of year, I love decorating with pumpkins and cooking with pumpkin. I have already made Pumpkin Gingerbread and Pumpkin Bread Pudding, Today it is Pumpkin soup with Chili, Cranberry and Apple Relish, smooth, creamy, and delicious for a fall supper. Why not serve it in a pretty pumpkin tureen along with tiny pumpkin cornbread muffins? I have adapted this recipe from one featured by Rachael Ray on the Food Network.
Pumpkin Soup with Chili, Cranberry and Apple Relish
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 2 ribs celery with greens, finely chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground thyme (I use Penzey’s French Thyme)
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 (28-ounce) can cooked pumpkin puree
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 crisp apple, such as McIntosh or Granny Smith, finely chopped
- 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons dry sherry
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Sprinkle sherry over dried cranberries to soak for 15 minutes, then combine all ingredients and set aside.
Heat soup pot over medium high heat. Add the oil and butter. Add bay, celery, and onion, season with salt and pepper. Cook 6 or 7 minutes, until tender. Add flour, thyme and Tabasco then cook for a minute. Whisk in chicken stock and bring liquid to a bubble. Add pumpkin in large spoonfuls stirring until smooth. Simmer soup 10 minutes to thicken a bit then add in cream and nutmeg. After adding cream and nutmeg, keep warm until ready to serve but do not boil. Serve with a spoonful of relish scattered on top
1 box Jiffy Cornbread Mix, prepared as box directions suggest.
To this batter, add 2/3 cup pureed pumpkin, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix thoroughly and fill prepared miniature muffin pan cups 3/4 full. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until muffins are browned.
Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins