Celebrate non-GMO holidays this year by choosing local, organic pumpkins for this soup. Some commercial canned varieties are from genetically-engineered stock. Sage and pumpkin pair perfectly together. Sage offers an amazing amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components and can also enhance the appetite. Since pumpkin has a delicate flavor that prefers the background, adjust seasonings upward if you use water instead of stock.
|1/2 cup||apple cider|
|1 Tbs||canola or extra-virgin olive oil|
|1 small||onion (about 1 cup), diced|
|1||jalapeno, seeds removed, minced|
|2 or 3 cloves||garlic, peeled and minced|
|3 cups||cooked pumpkin|
|3 cups||vegetable stock or water|
|to taste||salt and pepper|
|to taste||fresh lemon|
|crispy sage and herbed croutons
(see recipe below)
- Soak cashews in apple cider for at least one hour; then puree until smooth and creamy. Set the cashew cream aside while you make the soup. Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add oil, onion, garlic and jalapeno. Stir and cook until onions become transparent.
- Stir in the pumpkin and vegetable stock. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Adjust taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice and thin to desired consistency.
- Garnish with a dollop of cashew cream, crispy sage leaves and herbed croutons.
Crispy Sage and Herbed Croutons
(Makes 3 cups of croutons)
|12 to 18||fresh sage leaves|
|1/4 cup||coconut or canola oil|
|2 cloves||minced garlic|
|3 cups||cubed wheat or gluten-free bread
from a rustic loaf
|1/2 tsp||each: dried thyme, basil, and
|1/2 tsp||sea salt|
- Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add oil, then lay sage leaves in, one at a time. Cook leaves until they become crispy, about one minute. Do not overcook.
- Transfer with tongs or a slotted spoon to a dish. Add garlic to the same pan. Stir and cook until lightly browned.
- Stir in bread cubes and herbs. Cook until croutons are browned, stirring to make sure bread crumbs don’t burn. When croutons are done, sprinkle with a little olive oil and crumble in as much of the sage as you like. Stir until croutons are coated.
Debra Daniels-Zeller is author of The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook: 200 Recipes That Celebrate the Flavors of Oregon and Washington (Timber Press, 2010). She is a regular contributor to Vegetarian Journal magazine and writes a delightful food blog at http://foodconnections.blogspot.com. She can be reached at (425) 776-4689.