Smoky Pumpkin Soup

It’s just starting to be pumpkin season here and the huge orange gourds are sprouting at all the local markets. So, let’s grab one and make a little heart warming pumpkin soup. This is a wonderful addition to anyone’s repertoire of soups. This recipe is one of the simple ones. Pumpkin soups are a blank canvas on which you can paint with a wide variety of spices, but this one will have just three. The warming part of this soup comes from a liberal dose of smoky paprika.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • About two cups of diced pumpkin
  • 4 cup of water
  • ½ onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream, or half and half

Start by melting the butter in your soup pot and sauté the onions. Deglaze the pot with the water to bring up those tasty bits. Then, pour in the rest of the water and add the pumpkin and spices. Let this boil until the pumpkin softens up. Then, using our indispensible magic wand (immersion blender) blend the mixture very smooth. Then turn to a simmer and add the cream. Let this all blend together and serve it hot.

Smoky Pumpkin Soup

Smoky Pumpkin Soup

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Jameson Whiskey Sauce

Steak and whiskey sauce is a good way of getting a little more whiskey in your diet, and how many of us could use a little more whiskey in our diet. As we continue our March cooking madness with a focus on Irish recipes, and at least a perfunctory nod toward to our local ingredients. So, since the whiskey merchant is just down the street, Jamesons is local to me. That being said, I still feel that fresh local mushrooms and onions add a little local flavor to this steak dish, and we can always serve this with mashed local long island potatoes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  •  2 8oz rib eye steaks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 1-1/2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1 ounce Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 1/3 cup beef stock
  • 1/3 cup heavy (double) cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and cook until they’re done to your preference. Transfer them from the pan to a heated platter, and cover them loosely with foil to keep warm.

Now toss in the skillet the garlic, onion, and mushrooms, and sauté over medium heat until soft. Add the honey and wholegrain mustard to the pan and stir it in. Add the whiskey, gently and turn down the heat. Stir in the beef stock, deglazing the pan.

Boil gently until the amount of sauce in the pan is reduced by half. Stir in the cream, and continuing stirring until the sauce thickens. Taste the sauce often, and add salt and pepper as needed.

To serve, slice the filets, put them on plates, and pour the sauce over the top.

Long Island Thanksgiving – TURKEY

Its turkey time! And turkey is certainly a local Long Island item. The state’s department of conservation reports that the local populations have made a remarkable recovery since the wild species was threatened in the late ninetieth century. The wild turkey hunting season on Long Island is from November 21st through the 25th. But, if you don’t have the time or inclination to dress up like a pilgrim, grab a blunderbuss, and wander into the field to ‘shop local’ for a thanksgiving turkey, there are other local alternatives.

Turkeys have been farmed on Long Island since colonial times. When I was a kid living in Patchogue, there was turkey farm on Gazzola drive, right near Sills road. They made quite a racket when you drove past. Although that farm, like many other local large farms is no longer around, there are still local Turkey farms on Long Island. So, here is another shop local option for your holiday feast.

Unlike many of my other recipes, this list of ingredients harms no hogs! As for cooking the bird, my personal secret recipe will remain a secret… at least for another year.

So, tomorrow, enjoy your secret turkey recipe but remember that the results are best shared with friends and family and a remembrance of those whom we are thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving to all… and check back for more recipes after the holiday!