Monday, October 12, 2015

Quick Pumpkin Pear Soup

I've talked about my pantry before, most recently in this post from August.
This picture is a couple years
old. The pantry doesn't look
this clean and neat anymore!
My pantry serves a couple functions. It's an emergency pantry for bad weather or hiccups in our family income. It's also a long-term food storage pantry because I like to take advantage of sales, and I like to be prepared in case of a chocolate shortage (and yes, I really do have twenty pounds of cocoa powder in my pantry!)

But mostly my pantry is available to give food when and where it's needed.

However, a pantry isn't much good unless you use it. Even canned goods have a shelf life, and I don't have any desire to have a pantry full of food I can't use!

I think I've said this before: "Store what you use and use what you store."

Now the problem most people run into at this point is the assumption that the main foods to keep in long-term storage are beans and rice. And after a couple days of living off of beans and rice, you're ready to chuck the whole thing out the window, right?

So I set a challenge for myself to make meals from my pantry that would be 1) Delicious! 2) Healthy and 3) Quick.

Here's this week's result!

Quick Pumpkin Pear Soup



ingredients:
makes about six cups of soup

2-4 Tablespoons butter (optional)
2 Tablespoons minced onion
1 teaspoon Rosemary
1 12-oz can chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 can pears (drained)
1 can pumpkin
salt and pepper to taste
cream (optional)

As you can see, by leaving out the optional ingredients, you can make this an extremely low-fat soup. I happen to think healthy fats are necessary in a person's diet, so I include a little fat in my recipes.

So, start out by sauteing the onion and rosemary in the butter (or about 1/4 cup of the chicken broth) in a medium saucepan until the onion is soft.

Add the chicken broth, pears and pumpkin and heat for about ten minutes.


The next step is to blend the soup.

This immersion blender is GREAT for soups like this, but you can also pour everything into your blender or your food processor.

Blend until the soup is smooth, and then season to taste with the salt and pepper.


Serve the soup in a bowl and drizzle a couple teaspoons of cream on top. I also sprinkled some hulled hemp seeds on my bowl.

Super delicious!

Another topping that would be fabulous on this soup is crumbled bacon - if you like the salty/sweet combination. :)

Now for a fall color tour! I often share pictures of the time we spend in Custer State Park, in the southern end of the Black Hills, but this week we headed north to Deadwood.


I had fun playing with my camera, and the fall views from Mount Roosevelt were fabulous.






Happy October!

20 comments:

  1. I read quickly and thought this said Pumpkin BEAR soup.

    Oooops.

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    1. That would be an .... interesting soup, LOL!

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  2. Once I knew it wasn't bear, I went back and read carefully. :) This soup sounds delicious, Jan and I love that you sprinkled hemp seeds. :)

    I'm going to pass this recipe on to my vegan daughter (who will use the veggie broth and leave out the butter and cream). She loves pears and pumpkin though.

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    1. I thought of your daughter when I was working on this recipe - I add the chicken broth because I want that protein, but it's so adaptable! Vegetable broth works just as well as chicken broth. :)

      And after your post on hemp seeds, I found a small package at our local grocery. I sprinkle them on soups, salads, and even my oatmeal. Such an easy way to get an extra nutritional oomph.

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  3. Jan, I love how prepared and organized your pantry is! I need to take a lesson from you, oy!!!! The soup looks crazy easy, and I love easy these days, but the pictures.... GORGEOUS! Oh, it looks stunningly Western and fall! A hint of harsh land, softened by God's grace.

    I love it!

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    1. My pantry is bulging at the seams right now! And what you don't see in the picture is that my pantry is also my broom closet. So insert a vacuum cleaner, ironing board, broom, mops, etc. and it isn't quite so lovely. :) But it is functional!

      And those views! I love living here! In the fall the aspens turn gold, and when you catch a glimpse of the gold glowing against a backdrop of Ponderosa Pines.... Sometimes I just can't take it all in. A taste of heaven, for sure. The photos don't do it justice.

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  4. I want the Bear Soup recipe next, please. :)

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    1. I'll work on that. But we don't have any bears in the Black Hills. Hmm....

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    2. Wait! I can use Teddy Grahams!

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  5. Bear soup? Oh my. Poor bear.
    I'm with Ruthy on envying that nice neat organized pantry. How clever of you to get in there and use some of that stuff. I do need to do that also. Even in a motorhome some cans get stuck in the back of the drawer to never see the light of day. I need to get in there and use them. I think there is even a can of pumpkin from last Thanksgiving. yikes. It will make a lovely soup.

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    1. I think the hardest part about keeping a pantry going is keeping track of the stuff! One of my semi-annual chores is to take an inventory of the pantry, make sure the stock is being rotated, and that nothing has spoiled.

      I once found a half-empty jar of applesauce on the shelf. I looked and looked for the rest of the applesauce, but never found it. I'm assuming the water evaporated out of the jar and that's why it was half gone, but I couldn't find the lid, either! Eighteen months later, I found the lid under the bottom shelf.

      And that's why you need to inspect your home-canned goods a couple times a year!

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  6. This NYC gal is envious not just of the organization of the pantry, but of the SPACE!

    *sigh* I think your pantry is bigger than my daughter's bedroom was.

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    1. That pantry is stolen space from under the stairway, and doubles as a broom closet. We had to sacrifice the only storage space in the house, but it works!

      Next week I'm going to have to post a picture of what it looks like today.

      I'm in the process of designing my dream home on Pinterest. A pantry just off the kitchen with a counter to work at and a window... just like Laura Ingalls Wilder had in the first house Almanzo built for her. That's my dream :)

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    2. That's a dream I could share, but I'd have my dream pantry window looking out over the ocean.

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  7. Mmmm...again, not a combination I would have ever dreamed up on my own. You café gals are challenging my palate. I don't have a blender though....but my daughter does. We'll have to make it together sometime. It would have been great as part of our Thanksgiving feast, but we had that already. Scrambled tofu with veggies and kale and roasted potatoes and yams. Yes, I know you're all drooling, but really tofu is scrumptious if it's cooked the right way.

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    1. If you don't have a blender, you can always mash the chunks with the back of a spoon or a fork. The soup won't be a smooth, but it will still be tasty!

      And Happy Thanksgiving, Kav! My calendar says today is your day :)

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  8. Oh, yummy! I never would have thought of this combo. But I always have these ingredients in my pantry. Thanks for coming up with this! I loved your fall photos. We're seeing bits of yellow on certain trees.

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    1. It's amazing how the color change makes its way from north to south, isn't it? You'll have your colors about the time of our first snow.

      Yes, snow. We've had a warm and dry autumn so far - not too unusual, but people are beginning to get antsy. We should be having our first snowfall any time now, but it won't be in the next week, according to the forecast.

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  9. Twenty pounds of cocoa powder.... I didn't catch anything after that.

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    1. LOL!

      Actually, I buy it in bulk at my favorite store - E&S Sales in Shipshewana, Indiana.

      You know how it is. When you find a good deal, you have to take advantage of it!

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