I have not wrapped a single present…have been having too much fun cooking and writing blog entries. Plus, I’m excited about heading home to the bay area tomorrow. In addition to love of family, it is also about love of ingredients that I cannot get here, so it’s off to several haunts in the days to come. Here’s where I plan to stop during my first days home; they are all in Berkeley, minutes away from parents’ home (yippee!):
Monterey Market:I need to drool over some beautiful produce. Baby bok choy, celeriac & satsumas are on my list…I’ll take some pics for future daydreaming.
Cheese Board Collective:Wherefore art thou freshly baked sourdough cheese roll? Oh, how I’ve missed your tangy goodness. I will find you and your freshly baked cherry corn scone friends (and some haloumi and teleme, too) come Thursday morning when the collective reopens.
Peet’s Coffee & Tea:Oh, Peet’s…there is no better coffee. Hallelujah for small pleasures.
Acme Bread:There’s a bag of cinnamon bread with my name on it. No, really, there is—I called ahead. Acme bread gives all the other breads inferiority complexes; rightly so.
And if time permits, it’s over to the Ferry Building in San Francisco. I’ll bring the necessary paper bag to keep my breathing under control (you’ll understand from the website alone). Again, will take pictures for future posts (and for some silent weeping).
But now back to the present.
No baking today. Ate the cherry scones for breakfast (so glad to have made them ahead) and finally got hungry again about an hour ago, so I whipped up a pumpkin soup with items in my pantry. Canned pumpkin is one of my go-to superfoods: so handy (and cheap) to keep around, loaded with nutrition (vitamin A, carotenoids, fiber—and very low in calories and fat), and high in versatility (breads, muffins, scones, smoothies, soups, and more).
I flavored this batch of pumpkin soup with sweet (dulce–not hot) smoked paprika (pimenton de la vera), ground cumin, and a bit of orange in place of some of the broth. If you don’t have pimenton, regular paprika is a fine substitution. Here’s a link for buying or reading more about pimenton: Tienda.
Well, better get back to those presents while Nick and Kevin are still at the park.
I’ll be posting less in the days ahead (as I eat & talk myself silly), but will be back with a vengeance in the New Year.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
- 1 28-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- 3 cups 'ow-sodium vegetable broth
- 1-1/4 teaspoons smoked paprika (sweet or hot)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (for vegan)
- ¾ cup full fat coconut milk (stir well before measuring)
- fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Garnishes: roasted pumpkin seeds, sprinkle of smoked paprika, cilantro or parsley leaves
- In a large saucepan, whisk the pumpkin and and broth; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, and honey; reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the soup from the heat and let stand for 2 minutes. Whisk in the coconut milk; simmer for 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the suggested garnishes.