It’s time for another recipe! First, the recipe. Then, me blathering onward about my occasionally questionable culinary capabilities and the memories this particular autumnal feast holds for me.
- The Ingredients
- 4 tablespoons butter plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups pureed pumpkin (2 cans of puree or fresh)
- 4 shallots, minced fine
- 2 stalks of celery, diced fine
- 2-4 cloves of garlic, minced fine
- 1 package sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 cup good red wine or dark cola
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 small white onion, diced
- salt and pepper
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon (or more) of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked Hungarian paprika
- 2 teaspoons ginger paste
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon each curry powder and turmeric
- The Way of Preparing
- In the oil and butter in a large saucepan, saute the shallots, garlic, onions, celery, yellow bell pepper, and mushrooms with a bit of salt and pepper. A good chef would do this in stages. I am rarely a good chef and so start with the onions and work my way down the line to mushrooms, then the shallots and garlic. Add the bell pepper and the ginger last.
- If adding curry powder and turmeric, add it to the sauteed veggies before you add the pumpkin, cooking 30-45 seconds to let it get fragrant and happy.
- Add the cola to de-glaze the pan (yes, you can use wine. No, I never have.) before you add the pumpkin puree.
- On medium low heat, stir frequently until the pumpkin is warmed through and starting to bubble.
- How to make better:
- Optional: Rather than keep it chunky, run it through with an immersion blender, briefly.
- Add some blanched, diced sweet potato to it! Or some sour cream on top for an extra creamy note.
- Add more heat with a poblano pepper rather than a yellow bell.
- Add some extra protein to it by adding some browned stew meat and letting it get all happy in the slow cooker.
- Serve it over some steamed cauliflower or some rice!
- Stretch it further
- Literally the only limit is what you have on hand, what goes well, and the size of your pot. Add more pumpkin!
- How to make better:
I’ve only made it once, but I had four bowls of it the time I did. It was back in the days of the third floor walk up with the unstable, pretzel-shop employed roommate and it was during a time where we were not speaking much.
This dish, briefly, brought an end to that silence because it smelled so good they wanted some.
This is a dish meant to bring together people as well as ingredients. So try it out and let me know how it works for you!