Good GourdBy: Jon Webber
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of your favorite fall food? Let me guess, apples? Apples are amazing. They are one of falls super fruits. However, they are not the only game in town.
Gourds are fruits that are as plentiful as apples this time of year. Sometimes it feels like gourds are the black sheep of the fall food family. Why? Maybe it has to do with a bad childhood experience with grandma's mushy squash puree your parents made you eat. Or perhaps you have no idea what to do with the wide array of shapes, colors, and different taste gourds have to offer. Pumpkin is chocked full of vitamins and minerals that can help keep you healthy and in shape during flu season.
This month I am out to prove that fall's other fruit is worth a second look. These recipes will attest that gourds are not just table decorations, they are also very delicious!
Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Pumpernickel Sage Croutons
- 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
- 2 cups of milk
- 6 bacon strips (or about ½ cup of bacon bits)
- 1 cup finely diced red onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp dried sage
- Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: In a medium skillet, fry the bacon. Drain some of the bacon fat, and sauté the red onion and garlic. Put the veggies and bacon in a blender or food processor and puree the mixture. If the mixture is too thick, add 1 cup of the milk to the mixture. In a large stove top pot, heat the remaining milk and the purred mixture. Once the milk begins to heat up, stir in the pumpkin. Add nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt and pepper. Keep the soup on low to medium heat. Do not let the soup come to a boil. I recommend serving this soup in a hollowed out miniature pumpkin with warm Pumpernickel Sage Croutons.
Pumpernickel Sage Croutons
- 4 cups of 1" cubed pumpernickel bread
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp dried sage
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Directions: In a medium sized bowl place the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, sage, and garlic powder. Drizzle the oil on top of the mixture. Toss the bread until it is well coated with the butter and seasoning. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 375o for 10-12 minutes, until the croutons are as hard as you like. Set aside and let cool. I recommend letting them stay a little warm when serving with the soup.
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Jon Webber is an experienced caterer, party planner and amateur chef. Over the years, he has perfected the various ways to prepare and plan simple everyday dinners, as well as the party everyone will be talking about for weeks to come. He loves to tinker in the kitchen, experimenting with different flavors until they mix just right. He is currently developing his own line of salsas, as well as writing several cookbooks.
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