Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Pumpkin Soup Recipe

When I made my menu for the month on Sunday, I decided that every Wednesday would be "Soup Day".  I didn't decide what soups I was going to make, though.  Tonight, I looked on my counter and saw a cooking pumpkin and decided I would make a pumpkin soup.  I looked through my cookbooks for ideas and found one in a Moosewood cookbook.  I started from there and then made my own.  I changed it so much that the method and ingredients are very different.  Here's the recipe I came up with (my whole family really liked it--even my pickiest eater):

Middle Eastern Pumpkin Soup

2 cups diced onions
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 cup peeled and sliced carrots
2 ½ cups chopped pumpkin (½” chunks)
1 ½ tsp salt
2 ½ cups chicken broth
1 ¼ cups apple juice
¼ cup tomato sauce
¼ cup water
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp paprika
1-2 cups diced cooked chicken (I used some from 2 leftover chicken thighs that I cooked on Sunday)


  1. Dice onions and saute in olive oil.
  2. Begin chopping carrots. When they are chopped, add to the onions. Then, peel and cut the fresh pumpkin (or butternut squash) into small cubes (1/2”) and add to the onions. Saute for a few more minutes.
  3. Add liquids and spices.  Cook over medium heat.  
  4. Simmer for 15 minutes and then check vegetables for softness. Continue cooking until vegetables are soft, but not mushy.  Then, put 2 cups of soup in blender and puree. Return pureed mixture to pot and mix in.
  5. Add chicken and stir till chicken is heated.
  6. Optional: You can serve sour cream on the side to dollop onto the soup.

Monday, November 9, 2015


One thing my family jokes about regularly are my forms.  There is a sense that they simultaneously chuckle about them, are thankful for them, and wonder about them!  I have forms we use for holidays, vacations, setting the table, planning birthday parties, cleaning the house, and even a form to help the kids know what to put in their lunches when they pack them.

This year we joined a homeschool co-op, so once a week my kids and I pack up our lunches and head to "school".  I'm teaching a middle school writing class and tutoring reading.  My Thursday mornings are filled with preparations to teach.  It's been interesting to watch my kids and I get used to this new part of our routine.  My kids are responsible for packing their backpacks and getting their lunches made.

A normal part of our routine at home is for the kids to make their own lunches.  When I ran out of time the first week before class, I asked my kids to make their own lunches and--one for me.  I quickly wrote down on a piece of paper what to put in each lunch.  They did just what I asked.  The next week I typed up what I'd written the week before and laminated it.  Now, they pull out the list each week to make their lunches.

Here's the list I typed up...

Making Lunches:
  1. Juice Box or Capri Sun
  2. Sandwich
  3. Fruit
  4. 2 cookies
  5. Napkin
  6. Snack: string cheese, granola bar, pretzels, etc....

I know it probably seems funny to have such a simple list typed up, but lists do help me and my kids. I'm thankful for them.  My forms and lists will probably be one of those things that my kids laugh and smile about when they are grown adults raising their own kids!