Recipe of the Week: French Pumpkin Soup

Jamie's Autumn Potage a Variation on a Variation of French Pumpkin Soup I got the recipe for this delicious soup at the farmer's market in Carrboro, North Carolina. The C'est si Bon! cooking school was advertising and had samples of the soup with the recipe to take home. The original recipe had some slightly exotic and/or expensive ingredients like leeks and baby fennel, so I've adapted it to ingredients that are more available and affordable. I absolutely love the flavor of this soup and if you puree it, it makes very nutritious baby food!

3 T of fat, olive oil, butter, duck, chicken or goose fat 2 large onions, chopped 1 celery heart, chopped 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or a couple pinches of dried) 2 bay leaves 3 pounds of fresh pumpkin or other hard squash (I like butternut better than pumpkin), cut in 1" cubes 1 pound of carrots, chopped 8 cups of chicken stock salt and pepper heavy cream or plain yogurt, optional

Heat the fat in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and celery, stir well, cover, and cook over LOW for 15 minutes. Do not brown them. (I add a little salt here to help sweat the veg.) Add the carrot and cook, covered, for another 10 minutes. Add the cubed squash to the pot, then the stock. Season with salt and pepper (go easy on the salt if using store-bought stock) and add the bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, partially covered for 45 minutes or until the squash is very tender. At this point you can either mash the soup with a potato masher or puree it with a stick blender. (I prefer to puree it.) If pureeing it in a blender or food processor, let it cool a bit first. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add more stock. Check seasoning and add more salt if needed. DSC_0401When serving you can drizzle a bit of cream or yogurt on the top.

I can't tell you how delicious and warming this is! Serve with some bread and cheese to fill out the meal.

Recipe of the Week - Carmelized Brussels Sprouts

First of all - did you know that it's Brussels sprouts, not Brussel sprouts?  Because I didn't until I started typing up this recipe. Oh, I know what you're thinking.

" Really, Erica, Brussels sprouts? Of all the recipes you could share? Really?"


Friends, please, give this one a try.  I saw it in a Better Homes and Gardens Magazine awhile back.  The picture looked good - really good.  I asked my husband if he was game to try them and he agreed...reluctantly.  My first attempt was a great success and now this recipe is in our regular "vegetable rotation".

So, here it is.  They are super simple, super fast and I promise, super delicious.


Brussels sprouts

Ingredients: 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 4 cups Brussels sprouts, rinsed, trimmed, and halved lengthwise Salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons water Juice of half a lemon, about 1 Tbsp.  (Sometimes I use balsamic vinegar instead of lemon juice.  It's also tasty.)


Directions: 1. In a pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Arrange sprouts in a single layer, cut sides down. (That's what BHG says to do.  Honestly, I just dump the sprouts in the pan.  They aren't quite as pretty in the end, but it doesn't affect the taste.)  Drizzle with remaining olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Remove lid and sprinkle sprouts with water. Cover and cook for 2 minutes more. Sprouts should just be beginning to caramelize.  Stick them with a fork - they should be slightly tender.

2. Remove the pan lid and increase your heat a bit.  When the cut sides are well-caramelized, toss Brussels sprouts in the pan and drizzle with lemon juice.  Use a bit more salt and pepper to taste.


So that's it.  It's a delicious veggie in about 6 minutes of cooking.  Give this unpopular food a try.  You may be surprised at how yummy Brussels sprouts can be!

Original recipe can be found here: