Snow Day!!!

By Jill MantWe had our first snow day here this past Wednesday. Oh, for every one else in Denver it was technically the second, as the past Wednesday had also brought 6-10 inches, depending on where in the metro one lives, but I was away that week, so for me it didn’t count!!

After waiting the two hours it took to get my snow tires put on, I wandered over to Margo’s to pick up my partner in crime. We had chosen several recipes suitable for Thanksgiving that we wanted to try, but since the morning had come and gone we whittled our selections down to two.

There is an unofficial rule that states that one must make a soup on snow days, so we choose a Curried Carrot Soup with Granny Smith Apple:

Ingredients

2 Tbsp EVO

6 Organic Carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces

2 Ribs Celery, trimmed and sliced into 2 inch pieces

1 Large Vidalia Onion, peeled and cut into 1/8’s

1 Large Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/8’s

1 Tsp prepared Green Curry Paste (available at Asian Markets-we actually used 1 Tblsp which rendered our soup not for the faint of heart)

2 Cans no MSG, low salt Chicken Broth (you may use vedgie broth if you prefer)

¼ C Plain, Lowfat Yogurt

1 Bay Leaf

S&P to taste

Preparation

Place carrots, celery, onion and apple in the bowl of a large food processor, with the kinife blade inserted. If you do not have the extra large model, you may have to do this in batches. Using the Pulse button, chop the vegetables using an on and off motion until evenly chopped.

Heat oil in a medium soup pot, over medium heat.

Add chopped vegetables and S&P to the heated oil and cook until soft, stirring frequently, taking care not to brown. This will take about 8-10 minutes.

Stir in Curry Paste and stir well for an additional 3-5 minutes, again, taking care not to brown the vegetables.

Add Bay Leaf and Chicken Broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, an additional 20-30 minutes.

Remove from heat and discard Bay Leaf. Using a large slotted spoon, remove the solid vegetable mix from the soup and place in Food Processor or Blender to puree. Pour the puree back into the soup pot and whisk in Yogurt.

Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.

This soup is both inexpensive to prepare, as well as healthy and light. We purchased the organic carrots for $1.29 and did not use the entire bag, so I estimate the cost at around $.80. Let’s say the onion will run about $.50, the Celery $.30, the apple about $.89 and the broth around $1.79. Everything else came from my pantry, so I guestimate the cost of the soup is around $6.00 and served with a crusty bread and green salad will feed 4 people amply, if not 6.

While we made the soup, we also roasted a Sugar Pumpkin. We had a small one which probably only weighed a couple of pounds and we sliced it in half, scooped out the seeds and pulp (I saved the seeds for roasting with EVO and Habanera Sea Salt) and placed both halves upside down on a parchment lined baking sheet for 1 ½ hours at 400 or until soft.

Once this was done, we scooped the softened pulp into the bowl of my food processor and blended to make a pumpkin puree for Pumpkin Gnocchi in Browned Sage Butter:

 Ingredients

¾ cup Pumpkin Puree

1/3 cup Skim Milk Ricotta

½ cup Grated Parmesan

1 large egg

1 tsp Kosher Salt

½ tsp Nutmeg

1 ½ cups Flour

¼ cup Sage Leaves, whole

3 Tblsp Butter

2 Tblsp Good Balsamic Vinegar

Shaved Parmesan-use vegetable peeler

Preparation

Set aside a large pot of water to boil.

In a large bowl, mix Pumpkin, Ricotta, Parmesan, Egg, Salt, and Nutmeg to blend. I used a rubber spatula, as the trick to making good Gnocchi is to keep the dough light.

Gradually add the flour in batches, stirring with the spatula to combine. Continue adding the flour until the dough is firm enough to handle but sticky.

With floured hands, pull off small pieces of dough, roll between your fingers to make 1 inch dumplings and plunge into boiling water.  Cook until they rise to the surface, about 5 minutes and remove with slotted spoon to platter lined with paper towels.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. When the butter is hot, add the sage and cook until butter is brown and sage is fragrant, mixing frequently. Whisk in the Balsamic Vinegar, turn off heat, add gnocchi and toss.

Plate the Gnocci and serve topped with shaved Parmesan.

Can be served as a meal with salad, a side dish for Thanksgiving, or a delicious appetizer. Serves 4 as a side or appetizer or 2 as a main meal. Once again, the entire dish can be made for well under $10, and you could use canned pumpkin, if you don’t want to bother roasting your own. Just be sure to buy Pumpkin Puree, not canned Pumkin Pie mix.

While this certainly can not be classified as Health Food, it is probably one of the most delicious dishes we have tasted in a while, and by now, you know how we chow!!

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5 Comments

  1. Yummy Yummy Yum. One of the West’s greatest undiscovered cooks has finally decided to make the world a better place culinarily (TM pending on this word) by creating this blog. It so happens that carrot soup and chala are my favorites – what a great way to start! I look forward to sharing my Romanian sausages and langosh recipes with the world.

    Thank you Jill!

    Reply
  2. Sara

     /  November 8, 2011

    Can’t wait to try your carrot soup! (minus the curry since I’m allergic!) Love your first post- look forward to more entertainment and delicious recipes!

    Reply
  3. Joanne Mackey

     /  November 16, 2011

    The pumpkin gnocchi was a gastronomical delight. The el dente pasta combined with the velvety, creamy filling made for excellent texture. No over-whelming spices prevailed, which lent to a nicely blended tasty experience. Glad I didn’t over-indulge for succulent pork chops bathed in a delicate mushroom sauce awaited me. Kudos, Jill

    Reply
    • Thanks Joanne; I am so glad you liked the recipes. Your feedback is great for virgin bloggers like us, as I am ever hopeful that my recipes are easy to follow.

      Reply
  1. Dreamy Spiced Pumpkin Soufflee « SaucyCooks

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