Happy New Year...and welcome to the start of a brand-new series, Bare Bones with Style. We're starting this series with a surprise ingredient:
I'd always thought of this squash-y item as something for pies and muffins. But it turns out that pumpkin makes a slightly-sweet, mellow and nutritious addition to all sorts of main dishes. Starting with soup...
Donna Groesbeck, a good friend in Cheyenne, WY, fed me a bowl of this one tired evening. It was full-flavored and delicious...and has remained that way, every time I've made it. It also has an amazing ability to adapt to whatever you've got in the refrigerator. Thanks so much, Donna...
DONNA'S PUMPKIN CURRY SOUP
(adapted from LDS Living)
4 tablespoons butter (I usually use 1 tablespoon)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, pressed (or 1 teaspoon dried garlic)
2 cups canned pumpkin -- or puree
4 cups water
6 chicken bouillon cubes
3 chicken breasts, cubed (I've used as few as one - or substituted a couple of boneless thighs)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups half-and-half (or substitute whole milk, or sour cream)
1 1/2 - 3 cups cooked rice (great for using up leftover rice)
Saute onions and garlic in butter for a few minutes, then add everything but cream and rice. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add cream and rice to pot and stir-- Or I often put a large tablespoon or two of rice in the bottom of each bowl, pour in the hot soup, and top with a spoonful of sour cream. Makes enough for 4, plus a little leftover for seconds.
And they'll want it -- this soup is THAT good.
Another interesting recipe, also from LDS Living:
PUMPKIN SLOPPY JOES
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 finely chopped onion
12 ounces chili sauce
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
Brown the beef and onion, then add everything else. Simmer for an hour, then spoon onto buns to serve. Makes 6-8 sloppy joes.
*optional -- but if you want it, mix 4 tablespoons cinnamon, 4 teaspoon nutmeg, 4 teaspoons ground ginger and 3 teaspoons allspice. Good for pies.
A variation that makes a smaller amount: 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon cloves.
Next on Bare Bones with Style: Eggs, Eggs, The Cackleberry Fruit