I love the flavors of fall, crisp apples, sweet grapes, savory pumpkins and squashes, rich spices and flavorful herbs! We had a most delicious dinner last night, if I do say so myself… It was a combo of two classic fall favorites of ours – curried pumpkin soup and apple & grape salad, plus a yummy banana bread. Everything was Real friendly and very easy to make. The salad and soup come together quickly so they are a great busy weeknight option. The banana bread is easy to make, but requires sometime to bake.Curried Pumpkin Soup
- 2 T butter
- 1 large sweet onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 t curry powder (I use The Herb Shop Hot Curry blend from Central Market)
- 4 cups pureed pumpkin (or, if you don’t have any in your freezer and are short on time for making it fresh, one 29 oz can of pure pumpkin puree -NOT pumpkin pie mix)
- 4 cups chicken broth (I used an organic chicken broth with only 5 ingredients, no sugar. You can also use veggie broth, but most commercial organic veggie broth has sugar in it, so use your own if you can)
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup heavy cream (you can substitute light cream or half & half or even milk)
- kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
In a large stock pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and saute 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, saute one more minute then sprinkle the curry over the onions & garlic. Cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes. Stir in pumpkin and heat through. Add broth. Cook over medium heat 10 minutes or, if you have the time, let simmer, covered, over low heat until a few minutes before dinner. The longer you simmer it, the more the flavors come out, I let mine simmer for an hour and a half. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking (I used 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper). Just before you serve, stir in cream, you can also be fancy with it and swirl a bit into each serving.
Apple & Grape Salad
- 2 medium tart, crisp apples (I used Smoke House from Brook Lawn Farm Market) chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes (or seeded grapes, cut in half to remove seeds)
- 1 6 oz container of organic, fruit or maple syrup sweetened vanilla yogurt (I used Cascadian Farms)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Serve immediatley or cover and chill until ready to eat. ***To toast walnuts, I used the stove top method because I tend to forget and let them burn if they are in the oven. Heat a small non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add the walnuts, reduce heat to medium-low. Stir walnuts frequently to get even toasting and prevent burning. When you can smell their toasty essence they are done – maybe 5 minutes or so. Immediately remove them from the pan and allow to cool before adding to the salad.
I used Lisa’s recipe for Whole Wheat Banana Bread at 100 Days of Real Food, adding a teaspoon of cinnamon to the dry ingredients and using coconut oil in the batter and for greasing the pan. My pan was 4 x 8 and my baking time at 350 was 55 minutes.