I’ve been reveling in all the holiday flavors lately. Ginger, squash, pumpkin, apples, cinnamon, cloves. oooh it all makes me so happy. I want to wrap up in a big soft blanket and drink hot tea. Sadly right now my air conditioner is on and I got eaten up by mosquitoes on the walk with the dogs. grrr. However, I haven’t let it stop the fall explosion that’s happening in my kitchen right now. I’ve been trying to devise a way to make two of my favorite flavors make sense together in baked goods. I came up with this recipe for pumpkin ginger bread muffins. I used real pumpkin puree I made myself and real fresh ginger. These muffins came out so good. I used the Joy of Cooking’s pumpkin bread recipe as a guide but changed it to add in my own version of ginger bread. If you don’t make these you are sorely missing out
Pumpkin Ginger Bread
2 pumpkins (pie pumpkins not carving pumpkins) to make 2 cups of puree
2″ fresh ginger diced
1stick of butter
1 1/3 cup molasses
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups of flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp nutmeg
Halve the pumpkins and scrape out all the seeds.
Roast them in the oven at 375 for 45 minutes or until soft. Remove them from the oven and let them cool.
When the pumpkins are cool enough to handle scrape the flesh out and into a blender. Puree the pumpkin until smooth. I ended up with quite a bit more pumpkin than I needed. 1 pumpkin would probably be enough for 2 cups of puree.
I put the extra in the freezer for something else. (More muffins?) Mix all of your dry ingredients first. Add all your wet ingredients next. Mix until smooth.
Bake on a greased muffin pan at 350 for about 30 minutes. Check the centers with a toothpick. If you can push a toothpick in and it comes out clean then the muffin is done. For half of these I topped them with sweetened coconut and crushed pecans.
They are perfectly fall tasting and the fresh ingredients really augment the recipe. If you don’t want to go through all the trouble of roasting the pumpkin you can used canned pumpkin. But, where is the fun in that?
I made this soup after the civilized caveman made a comment about his addiction to squash. I couldn’t help but sate my own gourd addiction. The color of this soup is so pretty that I almost don’t want to eat it. However, it is too tasty not to. Unlike my recent string of un-paleo foods, this soup is very paleo. If you too are addicted to squash you will want to make this soup.
Fall Harvest Soup
3 red bell peppers
1 pumpkin (Make sure you get the small pie pumpkin, and not a carving pumpkin. The taste is much different)
1 butternut squash
2 heads of roasted garlic
3 cans of chicken stock
2 cans of coconut milk
2 tsp of thyme
1 tsp of oregano
Cut and remove the seeds and pulp from all of your fruits (if it has internal seeds it’s technically a fruit).
Place them on a cookie sheet cut side down with a little olive oil.
Roast them until soft. The squash and pumpkin take about 45 minutes at 400 and the red peppers took about 20 minutes.
For the last few minutes of the peppers I turned on the broiler and blackened them a bit.
I made the garlic the day before but to roast garlic you just wrap up the entire head with tinfoil and roast in the oven. Just place it in with your pumpkin and squash. When all your fruit is roasted take it out and let it cool down a bit. When it is cool enough to handle scoop the flesh out and into a large stock pot. Discard the skin. Peel and add the garlic. Add the remaining ingredients except for the coconut milk. Cook on medium for about 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and blend in a blender. I learned a neat trick the other day for blending hot liquids. Remove the little center piece on the lid and drape the blender with a kitchen towel. This keeps the soup from popping the lid off and making a huge mess. I had to blend this in stages because I made so much of it. Once it is all blended pour it back into the pot and add your coconut milk. Cook again on medium for another 20 minutes. After that ladle it out and enjoy. This soup has all the great taste of fall with the sweet creaminess of the coconut milk. I think this is my new favorite meal.
You can enjoy this beautiful soup as a Halloween treat today with a little crumble of bacon! Happy Halloween!