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Gardening Articles: Health :: Cooking

Harvest Feast (page 2 of 3)

by A. Cort Sinnes

West Indian Pumpkin Soup

This is not your typical, sweet-ish pumpkin soup. The addition of even a small amount of fresh lime juice, ground cumin and a fresh cilantro garnish give it a West Indian flavor. The use of cream cheese may be unusual, but adds a silky texture and does not curdle in the presence of the lime juice. Serve in a hollowed-out pumpkin, if desired.

2 T butter or margarine
1 medium onion, diced (about 2 c)
4 stalks celery, diced (about 2 c)
1 49-1/2-ounce can of ready-to-use chicken stock
2 c cooked pumpkin or winter squash
1 t ground white pepper
1 t ground cumin
1 T fresh lime juice
8 oz. low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
fresh cilantro, for garnish

Melt the butter or margarine in a large soup pot. Saute the onions and celery over medium heat until limp. Add two cups of the chicken stock and simmer until onions and celery are very soft.

Process stock, onion and celery mixture in a blender until smooth. (Processing hot liquids in a blender is best accomplished with short periods of on" and "off" to reduce the chances of the liquid "erupting."

Return this mixture to the soup pot. Add remaining chicken stock, pumpkin, white pepper, cumin and fresh lime juice. Bring to a boil.

Remove from the stove and whisk in cream cheese until completely dissolved. Serve immediately, with fresh cilantro leaves as a garnish.

Potatoes with Mint and Garlic

The combination of flavors - mint and garlic - along with a little olive oil are a wonderful unexpected accompaniment to the bland wholesomeness of boiled potatoes.

3 pounds new potatoes (or small Yellow Finns, or the like)
1-1/2 t salt
1/2 cup olive oil
2-1/2 T wine vinegar
1 T water
2 t Dijon mustard
2 T mayonnaise
2 c mint leaves
4-6 cloves garlic, peeled

Boil the potatoes in salted water until just tender (approximately 20 minutes).

While potatoes are boiling, process olive oil, wine vinegar, water, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, mint leaves and garlic cloves together in a blender. Process, on and off, until the mint leaves and the garlic are finely chopped.

Strain cooked potatoes and place in a large bowl.

Immediately pour dressing over the potatoes, and mix well. Allow to sit for one hour or more. Can be served at room temperature or chilled.

Taboleh "Stuffing"

Delicious and good for you, too! Ideal nontraditional stuffing to serve with Pandora's Turkey (recipe below).

3 c bulgur
1 large onion, chopped
7 c canned vegetable stock
1/2 c fresh sage, finely chopped
1 c fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 c olive oil
1 T vinegar
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Toss uncooked bulgur and chopped onion together in a large mixing bowl.

Bring vegetable stock to a boil. Pour over bulgur and onion mixture. Mix thoroughly and allow to sit for one hour. Pour bulgur/onion mixture into a large colander or sieve and press lightly to remove any liquid. Return to mixing bowl and add sage, parsley, olive oil, vinegar and black pepper. Mix well.

Can be served at room temperature, or stored overnight in the refrigerator and served cold. The vegetable stock is salty enough that additional salt probably won't be necessary.

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