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Ginger Pumpkin Soup

Ginger Pumpkin Soup

Zingy and sweet, our Ginger Pumpkin Soup has all the spiciness of fall. Loaded with layers of flavor, our recipe could be served for a special event or a simple weeknight dinner. Sugar Pie Pumpkins are the best choice for this recipe. You can finish the soup with either coconut milk or cream. However, we must say, the coconut milk makes this soup exceptional.

INGREDIENTS
6 lbs of pumpkin, cut pumpkin(s) in half and remove the seeds and stringy interior
kosher salt and pepper

4 tablespoons of butter, divided

2 medium onions, cut into 16ths

2 medium apples (2-1/2 to 3″ in diameter) peeled and cored, cut in chunks

3 tablespoons of fresh ginger, grated

4 garlic cloves, minced

6 cups unsalted chicken stock

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 pinch cinnamon

1-1/2 cups coconut milk or cream

Crème Fraiche or Sour Cream

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the pumpkin(s) in half; scoop out the seeds and stringy parts. Lightly salt and pepper the flesh. Place the pumpkin(s), cut side down in a large baking pan. Fill with ½ inch of water, cover with foil and bake for 1 hour or until the flesh is easily pierced with a small paring knife. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh from the outside skins; discard skins.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large 12″ sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and apples. Lightly salt then sauté until the onions are sweet and browned and the apple are soft and browned – about 20 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of brandy and cook until the brandy is completely absorbed.

Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add the ginger and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add to the stockpot the pumpkin and the onion and apple mixture. Pour the chicken stock over the vegetables and add cloves, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon. Stir to combine well. Bring the soup to a low boil, then lower the heat to medium and let it simmer 60 minutes. Using a food processor or blender, process in batches to the consistency of a purée. Or use an immersion blender in the stock pot to blend the soup to the consistency of a purée.

Add the coconut milk or cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is cool, reheat to warm. Serve in bowls and swirl in a tablespoon of Crème Fraiche or sour cream before serving.

Baked Apples with Apple Cider Caramel Sauce

Baked Apples with Apple Cider Caramel Sauce

Using reduced apple cider as a base to cook the apples in this recipe creates an amazing apple caramel sauce. Be sure to serve this dessert in a bowl so you can baste some of the gooey, delicious sauce over the apples right before serving. To select the correct apples for this recipe, be sure to choose the type that holds up well during baking. According to Bon Appetit magazine those very best apples are Honeycrisp, Pink Lady and Mutsu or Crispin.

INGREDIENTS
2 cups apple cider
6 firm baking apples such as Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Mutsu or Crispin
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ cup flour
¼ cup raisins (optional)
⅓ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
4 tablespoons butter, softened slightly

Vanilla ice cream, gelato or whipped cream

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Pour the apple cider into a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer for about 15 minutes until the cider has reduced to one cup. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Slice a small piece off the top of the apples and using a spoon carefully scoop out the core in the center of the apple and make a small “bowl shape”. Be careful to not cut through the apple sides or bottom. Discard the flesh and seeds. Place in a pie pan or shallow baking dish and drizzle the apples with lemon juice.

To make the filling, combine together the flour, raisins, sugars, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and nuts in a small mixing bowl. Using your fingers, combine the butter into the sugar mixture until well incorporated.

Pack the mixture into each apple allowing any extra to fall into the baking dish. Sprinkle any leftover filling on the apples. Pour the reduced apple cider into the bottom of the baking dish and bake until the apples are cooked through. Depending on the size and variety, the apples should bake in about 40-55 minutes. While baking, baste the apples a couple times with the cider sauce. When a small knife moves smoothly through the apples remove them from the oven and cool down until still just warm. Serve warm apples with the cider sauce and vanilla ice cream, gelato or whipped cream.