Let me count the ways...
1. Car wash!
2. You do a much better job on my lawn than my sprinklers
3. You make me not feel guilty for curling up on the couch and watching tv (the Sing-Off is on tonight!)
4. You make a warm bowl of soup taste even better
It's soup night here at Ai's place. I picked up a lovely gourd the other day and saw this recipe while flipping through one of my favorite magazines, Sunset. The full recipe is below, but I will admit, I didn't really care for the mint pesto. I ended up not using it and put in strips of prosciutto instead. Now that was good!
Pumpkin Soup with Pumpkin Seed-Mint Pesto
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
4 1/2 cups peeled, 1-in. chunks mini pumpkin
4 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 small garlic clove
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds
1. Make soup: Sauté onion and ginger in oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat until golden, 5 minutes. Add garlic and coriander and cook until softened, 1 minute, then add pumpkin, broth, salt, and pepper. Simmer, covered, until pumpkin is very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Purée in batches in a blender until very smooth.
2. Make pesto: Pound garlic, whole mint leaves, salt, and 1 tbsp. oil in a mortar into a coarse paste (or use a food processor). Add remaining oil and pumpkin seeds and pound until coarsely crushed.
|All oiled up and ready to go|
To make the pumpkin bowl:
1. Preheat oven to 400°. If needed, cut a thin slice from the base of a mini pumpkin so it sits flat. Set on a rimmed baking sheet, rub with a little oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until tender when pierced, 40 to 45 minutes.
2. Cut off lids about 2 inches wide. Carefully scrape out seeds with a small spoon, keeping walls and bases intact. If you accidentally get a hole in the pumpkin, line it with a piece of foil.
Now that I feel all warm and fuzzy inside, I'm parking myself on the couch and watching some a capella action!