Sunshine in JanuarySometimes sunshine comes in January. Sometimes it comes in two different forms in January.
That bowl there is full of sunshine. Both types.
We already had an inch of snow on the ground from the day before. Then another inch or so fell on top of that.
And it was cold.
Frigid. Frosty. Biting. Snowy. Bitter. Icy. Raw. Chilly. Gelid?
With this outside my front door, I needed soup. Again. Another hot soup. But not the same ol' gluten-free tomato bisque. And I didn't have gruyere or Jarlesberg or even plain swiss cheese to make gluten-free French onion soup.
The soup du jour had to be something I could make with the ingredients I had on hand. I was not going out in that for any ingredients!
It just so happened that I still had some pumpkin purée in the freezer, from one of our uncarved jack-o-lanterns last year. I guess I still have to blog about that....
That one pumpkin made nine of these quart-sized bags full of purée!
Don't think for one minute that I'm interested in sweet pumpkin soup, pumpkin-pie-style. No way. This is January, baby, not October. I'm only interested in a savory, tangy, squashy soup.
It just so happened that the only squash I had available was of pumpkin form. Frozen, pumpkin form.
In fact, let's just leave pumpkin out of this. I had squash purée and it was the color of sunshine. That's enough for me, this frigid, gelid January!
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 green onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping tsp sweet rice flour
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups pumpkin purée (canned is fine, if not sweetened)
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk (optional, can substitute equal amount of additional chicken stock)
salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter or margarine, over medium high heat, with olive oil. Add celery, green onion and white or yellow onion, stirring occaisionally until onion starts to caramelize, about ten minutes. Then add garlic, continuing to stir and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes.
Don't let the garlic burn. You'll be sorry. Trust me.
In a small bowl, stir together sweet rice flour and several tablespoons of chicken stock, mixing well. Pour and stir this mixture into the hot, caramelized vegetables and oil, stirring well as it thickens. Then gradually add remaining stock, continuing to stir well as you go.
Stir in pumpkin purée. Cook and stir a few minutes. Add milk, stirring well until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately!
Oh, and if you need to add a little heat to your January, try adding some roasted chili peppers to your sunshine. This soup can take it. The question is, can you?
Now for the quiz of the day:
Can you identify these tracks in the snow?
Hint: We don't have a dog or a cat, and the bunny tracks were behind me when I took this picture.
I don't know either. Maybe the upper one is fox. Maybe the lower one is squirrel. I don't think either is deer or birds. We have plenty of all of these around our house!