Pumpkin Quinoa Soup–The Results

Let me start by saying–my hubbster is picky and I haven’t had anyone else over to the house to be on my side about this soup. I loved it!
If you’re a picky eater or not fond of weird foods then perhaps continue your google searching because you may not like this recipe. My hubbster might have liked it if I had included chunks of ham or chicken. However, as the recipe is below, Kit had no seconds nor leftovers.

You may recall that I posted a blog talking about how I make up recipes and end up a trial Franken-recipe once I get to the kitchen. Here is what I changed once I actually got into the kitchen to cook this soup.

Ingredients
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 TBSP garlic to taste (I never measure this)
2 TBSP olive oil (never measure)
2 TBSP curry powder (you can continually taste and add more/less as you cook because soups are wonderfully forgiving)
salt and pepper
A couple of shakes of red pepper flakes
3 medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped
3 small/medium sized yellow squash, washed and chopped

2 cups chicken broth
1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz)
1 can pure pumpkin (15 oz)
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1 cup uncooked quinoa

Toppings–Grated cheese. I tried both cheddar and mozz.

Directions
Saute onions, garlic and spices in olive oil until translucent. Then add carrots and squash. Cover and allow to cook on low medium until veggies are a bit more tender–Remember you don’t want them super mushy because you want some texture to the soup.
Add broth, coconut milk, pumpkin, diced tomatoes and quinoa. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat the low and cook until quinoa pops open and liquid is absorbed. It took perhaps 30 minutes to make sure the quinoa was popped open and delicious.

What did it taste like?
It was awesome! The pumpkin was prominent and the coconut milk made it creamy and comforting. The curry powder did NOT make this soup hot but added a little kick and more complexity to the soup itself. I thought the veggies gave it just enough goodness to munch on.
If you please, you could reduce the quinoa amount at 1/3 of a cup and chicken broth by 1 cup. You would end up with about the same amount of broth/fluids.

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The Process of Making a Recipe

People are constantly begging for my secret, Where on earth do you find these amazing recipes, Kat! Or, Gee, your cooking is the greatest, Mrs. Clark.
Honestly, no one says that, but in my head that is what it translates to when people compliment my cooking.

So here is that process I have to making a recipe. My methods are not unique, but do typically yield good results. It begins with me finding an ingredient, hearing people talk about or getting exposed to a food via media and it the gears start turning.

I have been thinking about pumpkin soup all summer because I have tons of cans of pumpkin in my cabinet and a co-worker mentioned that he really loves making pumpkin soup. Especially as the weather has gotten colder.

I started searching the Internetz for recipes that sounded good to me and almost immediately, had an unhappy realization. Almost all of the soup recipes I found had quite a bit of broth. Kit prefers a chunky soup, so I knew that a watery soups would mean I would have to eat the whole pot.

After pinning a few recipes I liked I started thinking and ultimately chose quinoa. It is filled with good proteins, has a good texture and soaks up liquids quite well. Quinoa and savory pumpkin sounds amazing to me. I also like the idea that I could adapt a recipe to having vegetable broth and make it for my veggie-saurus brother.

The trickiest thing about soups are that if you want a certain result of liquid you have to start with the right amount of liquid. Or suffer the cycle of doom where you keep adding things until it gives or you give….And end up with double the amount of soup you intended.

Under closer inspection of the recipes I found some similarities and pulled all the ingredients I knew we would love. I pulled ingredients from this Coconut Curry Pumpkin soup recipe I found on all recipes and a crock pot Chicken Quinoa-Pumpkin soup that I found on a personal blog.

That’s basically the process. The next step, of course, is making it on a night that I will not burst into tears if I have to order a pizza and dump it out. However, that isn’t so hard because I usually enjoy trying a new recipe.

crock-pot-chicken-quinoa-pumpkin-soup

Here is the Pumpkin Quinoa soup recipe that I came up with:
Warning: I have not tried this yet, but am looking forward to it mid-week. I will post an update to let you know what changes I made to the recipe below.

Ingredients
1 sweet onion, chopped2 TBSP garlic to taste (I never measure this)
2 TBSP olive oil (never measure)
1 tsp curry powder
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

2 cups chicken broth
1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz)
1 can pure pumpkin (15 oz)
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1/3 cup uncooked quinoa

Toppings–Sour cream, or grated cheese (parm) and chopped fresh spinach.

Optional–potatoes, carrots, celery, cooked chicken.

Directions
Saute onions, garlic and spices in olive oil until translucent.
Add broth, coconut milk, pumpkin, diced tomatoes and quinoa. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat the low and cook until quinoa pops open and liquid is absorbed.

Because I haven’t used this recipe before I’m not sure if three or two cups of chicken broth is more appropriate. I think for most people that three cups would be fine, but knowing that we like thicker or stew-like soups we should probably go for less. I already have a feel too, that I will want more pumpkin.

I’m really debating if I want more stuff in my soup. I usually have carrots and celery on hand to fill out a soup, if necessary. Chicken would be good, but it shouldn’t be a main player in the soup. I feel like the chicken would try to steal the show, when really, it is more about the creamy pumpkin soup.

After actually trying the recipe, Kit and I will sit down with our bowls or plates and eat for about five minutes before we start the deconstruction. What spices did you use? Are the flavors mellowed together? If you could change one thing to make this better, what would you do? And so on. We don’t place blame on the cook if the food isn’t perfect, but rather, figure out if we should try it again, tweak it, or keep it exactly the same. I love, love, love this part of our relationship. Not only can we cook and hang out in the kitchen together, but we make a game out of the recipes. Perhaps, like a friendly panel of judges on Iron Chef.

What process do you use when you’re trying to find new recipes to add to your regulars?

Do you ever follow the recipe exactly as you found it?

Ultimate Fall Bucket List

Fall is my favorite time of year and I realized that it has become a thing to make seasonal bucket lists or other short term Fun To Do lists. I searched the topic to death and came up with a massive fall season Bucket List. I have already completed a couple and will insert those pictures as breaks from straight text.
jacksonsorchardFall Bucket List

  1. Make a new fall wreath
  2. Visit an orchard
  3. Make Chili
  4. Watch Football
  5. Go apple picking
  6. Bake a pie
  7. Go on a fall color drive
  8. Enjoy cider
  9. Make/Eat caramel apples
  10. Sit by the firegirlspumpkinguts
  11. Go on a hayride
  12. Celebrate Oktoberfest
  13. Visit a pumpkin patch
  14. Carve a pumpkin
  15. Play in the leaves
  16. Find your way through a corn maze
  17. Decorate pumpkins
  18. Fall crafts
  19. Go trick or treating
  20. Make Halloween costumeKitpumpkinseeds
  21. Take fall photos
  22. Make apple cobbler
  23. Rake leaves and jump in pile
  24. Make pumpkin dessert
  25. Tailgate football game
  26. Find the perfect fall sweater
  27. Perfect a pumpkin/caramel/or/apple latte DIY
  28. Host a friendsgiving
  29. Go on a picnic
  30. Have a campfireKatcarving
  31. Roast marshmallows
  32. Go on a hike
  33. Make pinecone bird feeders
  34. Go out for coffee/hot cocoa and doughnuts
  35. Host a football party
  36. Stargaze under a quilt
  37. Bake pies
  38. Roast pumpkin seeds
  39. Create leaf art
  40. Decorate for fallpumpkinseeds
  41. Candles and music at night
  42. Crunch leaves
  43. Make fall soup
  44. Jump in puddles
  45. Fall treasure hunt
  46. Have a Halloween party
  47. Bob for apples
  48. Make a scarecrow
  49. Make apple cider
  50. Learn the Thriller danceKspumpkin
  51. Wear flannel
  52. Go to a fall festival
  53. Watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  54. Gather leaves
  55. Press leaves
  56. Make pumpkin pancakes
  57. Make mini caramel apples
  58. Blend pumpkin smoothies
  59. Go to a haunted house
  60. Watch Halloween/Thanksgiving movies
  61. Aspumpkin

Day 192: Fall Colors

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About two weeks ago our fall colors in the park were perfect. Then frost and high winds knocked them mostly to the ground.

I was shocked and delighted by the vibrancy of the colors. Many people told me that this fall wouldn’t be worth a spit because of the drought.

I didn’t get a picture of my favorite tree, sadly. It was a tree so yellow and bright it looked as though the sun was a reflection of the tree’s light.

Did you see any fantastic colors this year?

Day 169: Wicked Fog

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We have had some weird weather through September and October.
Hot days, rainy cold days, eerie foggy mornings.

This fog was super impessive because there wasn’t much visibility beyond our yard.

It honestly reminded memory the nothingness that absorbed all existance in the Never Ending Story–Which by the way, had an ending.

The sun was rising higher as I snapped these pictures and it started slowly burning off the fog. By ten o’clock it was totally gone.

Day 149: In Bloom

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This post I am going to double up on some pretty flower pictures. There are just so many pretty ones out there!

The first is a bloom on my okra plants. This is our first year growing okra on the farm. Now Kit may have known what their blooms were going to look like but it was quite a treat for me.

Okra grows on thick stalked plant a about five or six feet tall. We have a non-spiny variety….supposedly. I have to wear gloves or I’ll feel like I have been playing in stinging nettles. Maybe not quite that bad but close.

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My next wild flower may not bring everybody joy. Even ragweed looks pretty from a distance. Kit usually refers to this flower with some colorful adjectives because he has pretty severe allegies to everything outdoors.

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My final flower is a landscaped plant. I saw these pink and purple blooms in a box at SIU’s campus while I was in Illinois.
I don’t know what this booger is but it sure is beautiful.

Any flower experts want to take a stab at it?
I haven’t even done your basic Google search so you Magellan easily be able to turn up something.

Day 136: Clear Skies

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Some friends of mine got hitched on August 26th. The weather was beautiful as you see it and the wedding was lovely.

Since it was August it was sweltering but at least they didn’t have it this past week.

We got some craziness from Hurricane Isaac and it dumped rain here. We needed every drop.

After the week of off and on rains it has cooled a bit to more like fall weather. Nights are 50s and 60s and the days are not in the nineties. At least this week.