EMBRACING FALL: A NEW FOUND LOVE

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I think we can all agree that fall has definitely arrived. It arrived about a month ago and I’ve been embracing it ever since. There’s something that I love about the fall. Yes, the cold is not for me but that crisp air always makes me feel like I’m back in London, my hometown, just for a second. Then I open my eyes and find myself in the same place that you will usually find me, standing on the corner of 4th Avenue and 11th street, or at least somewhere nearby, maybe Union Square Farmer’s Market if I’m lucky. But that cool crisp air… in the words of our old friend
Dorothy, “there’s no place like home”.

Have you ever noticed just how incredible fall produce is? On many a recent trip to the farmer’s market, mentioned above, I have come to know of the wonders of produce that the season brings. Ones that funnily enough I never  got the pleasure of being exposed to growing up in London. You see friends, there is a silver lining to everything. I’m not sure if we English are the laughing stock of the crops, being deprived of these amazing pieces produce or if I was just too oblivious to notice them before. Either way, I sure am happy that I found them.

Fall in the U.S also seems to bring me to quite a bit of confusion, almost as if I’m entering a world of the unknown or learning a new language… Acorn Squash?  Black Salsify? Buttercup squash? Ong Choy Spinach? Are you for real? What are all these things?! I’ve come to learn that no, this is not a prank, the entire farmer’s market is not making fun of me, these are in fact very real, and they’re ones you should not be missing out on. My mom has a phrase which she uses ever so often, one that she loves and ultimately if used correctly, really sums things up. Ladies and gentlemen, in the words of my mom, fall is a “weird and wonderful” season.

Now that I have filled you in on the magical kingdom of fall vegetables, I would like to pay homage to an oldie but goodie, the trusty pumpkin, with a pumpkin coconut soup. Dear friend, we have not forgotten about you!

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

You will need

  • 1 medium sized pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 dried red chillies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Peel the whole pumpkin and discard of its skin.
  2. Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the pulp and seeds and set aside for later use on another pumpkin seed recipe.
  3. Cut the pumpkin again into quarters and then into medium diced pieces.
  4. Heat a large pot on medium high heat, add the olive oil.
  5. Add the onion into the pot, sauté until translucent and then add in the garlic until it is light gold and fragrant.
  6. Add the pumpkin squares in with the onion and garlic and sautee until it browns slightly and becomes soft.
  7. Pour in the vegetable stock, half the can of coconut milk, water and stir well.
  8. Add in the chillies, bay leaf, salt and pepper and mix again.
  9. Bring to a boil then down to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  10. Taste soup and if too spicy add in the remaining coconut as needed.
  11. Cool slightly then remove chillies.
  12. Transfer soup to a food processor, pulse until smooth.
  13. Garnish with olive oil, homemade croutons, or herbs of your choice, then serve.
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