I have a love/hate relationship with making resolutions with the dawning of each New Year. It seems silly to mark up a piece of paper with hopes and dreams just one time every 365 days only to remember them for just a week before settling back into the routine of yesterday. As the years continue and life takes its toll on my mind and body, I have started to realize the importance of reflection and planning. Most everybody can agree that doing this ritual once a year is almost pointless without a follow-through, which is why today I will share a few of my own resolutions with the entirety of the internet… and anyone who wants to hold me accountable can feel free to do so.

I won’t dive into the nitty gritty of personal goals, but instead I’ll stick to what this blog centers around: Food.

  • Goal Number One: Try more soup recipes. This is usually my husband’s department of expertise (he makes a mean pumpkin cilantro soup- see below) but there are endless possibilities of exploration now that I have a slow cooker and an immersion blender. No more excuses!
  • Goal Number Two: Bake more bread. I have a great recipe to post soon, but through my most recent explorations of yeast, I have found that bread is far less scary than I once feared. Time consuming, yes, but totally worth it when the smell of bread baking wafts through our house.
  • Goal Number Three: Cook healthy while staying happy. Easier said than done, am I right? I love healthy foods, I really do, but sometimes (read: MOST times) I’m craving buttery, salty, fried up foods that aren’t necessarily tummy roll friendly. One of my goals is to find gourmet vegetarian dishes that use all that good, earthy, organic stuff while still pleasing my buds.
  • Goal Number Four: Learn more about wine and how to pair it with different flavors. (I’m lucky that I have a built-in teacher for this one)
  • Goal Number Five: Organize. My kitchen is a huge mess of pots, pans, measuring cups, utensils, and appliances. Sadly, they are all scattered across our entire apartment (blessing of living with a small, New York kitchen) and sometimes I spend more time looking for the blender base than actually cooking the meal. I desperately need to put things in order in my Park Slope Kitchen!!

That all being said, let’s cut to the recipe. My husband made this for a dinner party that we threw for our in-laws who visited this past Christmas. We prepared them an entire feast of goodness, but this little gem is what started things out. It’s a fairly simple recipe with an explosion of taste. Make this for any occasion and you are guaranteed to please everyone.

Pumpkin Cilantro Soup

Pumpkin Cilantro Soup

Adapted from Gourmet Sleuth and made by my husband

1 large onion, halved

1/4 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon cumin

2 cups canned pumpkin (or fresh cooked)

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup half and half

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup crema or Creme Fraiche (optional- but we loved it and highly recommend it!)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro (leaves and fine stems only)

Slice the onion into thin slices using a food processor fitted with a slicing disk. You also can do this by hand. Melt the butter in a skillet, add the onion and saute until soft. Sprinkle the onion with the cumin and saute another minute or two. Add the cooked onion, pumpkin, and salt to the food processor bowl fitted with the metal blade. Process just until the ingredients are blended, about 10 seconds. Add the cream and half and half with the processor running and blend until fully incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a large heavy saucepan. Add the vegetable stock and cook over medium-low heat until the soup is steaming but not boiling.

To Serve:
Ladle soup into individual bowls. Drizzle a dollop of creme fraiche then sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Paired with: 1981 Rioja

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