Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Multi tasking

Blessed February, I spent the whole day yesterday off island and had the luxury of driving home in the waining sunlight.  Familiar faces happily greeted me everywhere I journeyed and I truly had such a great time chatting with you all. 

 This morning I have decided to make soup with the last sad pumpkins from my autumn hoarding.  

 Now, I am an incredible multi-tasker.  This talent has made me quite effective in the restaurant business.  However, I'm finding it to be a bit of a hinderance in this whole year's project of slowing down and being present.  While making this soup I had to really talk to myself about the fact that the joy is in the doing, not in the getting it done.  Why is it so hard for me to just enjoy myself with the task at hand and not spend the whole time thinking about what else I should be achieving?  Once I settled down I had so much fun this morning, I love to create, and experienced the joy of being present in the moments of creating.
 I would definitely like to incorporate this into my future. 

When I'm creating a new recipe I get a vision in my head of what I'm trying to create.  Today I wanted a thick, homey soup with familiar flavors and healthy ingredients.  Not wanting to leave the house, I worked with ingredients I already had on hand.  While gathering and cooking I write each step down so I can tweak it as I go.  Here is what I came up with:

Pumpkin Soup

1 medium sized pumpkin ( I had a long Island Cheese pumpkin handy plus a little dumpling squash) roasted and flesh scooped out
Approx. 2 cups rough chopped onions
2 leeks, white and light green part only, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 apples, cored, peeled and chopped
2 T coconut oil
2 - 3 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
pinch of two of red pepper flakes ( I love Aleppo)
Salt to taste ( I needed about 2 T because I don't salt my stock when I make it)
1 1/2 cups coconut milk

I roasted the squash at 400 and while that was happening I melted the coconut oil in one of my favorite yard sale finds, a good size lined copper pot (nothing burns in it!) and added the onion, leeks, apple and garlic with a bit of sea salt to season.  Sautee this until the leeks start to soften and everything looks kind of melted.
My lovely assistant

When ready, add your pumpkin, stock, spices and salt to taste.  Bring to a boil, turn down heat to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the apples and leeks are very tender and flavors have a chance to meld, about 25 minutes.

Puree the cooked mixture until smooth and stir in the coconut milk.  I like a thick soup, but if it is too thick thin it with some more stock.  Taste for seasoning.  I added a bit more salt (Maldon's this time) and some cinnamon because I really wanted to taste it.  I like to let my soup sit for at least an hour before eating it, I just think it tastes better, and the leftovers will be even better tomorrow.

Yummy!  I can't wait to gather with Renee for lunch and hear about her day.

You enjoy yours,

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