Mamma’s Pumpkin & Pear Curried Soup

Going home for a visit, I always look forward to some of my mother’s home cooking. There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world. Everything coming out of “Mamma’s” kitchen is a unique invention that combines unexpected ingredients into something miraculous. I don’t know how she does it, but I thought I’d feature a sample of one for you all to get a taste (literally). This Pumpkin & Pear Curried Soup was the opener to our Thanksgiving meal this year. The recipe is delicately spiced, perfectly creamy, and just enough sweet. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. :)

Ingredients:

1 Medium Sweet Onion – Chopped

1/2 Lb Carrots – Chopped

1 Large Yukon Gold Potato – Cut into 1/2″ cubes

1 Tbsp Sesame Oil

1/8 Cup Olive Oil

1/2 Liter of Vegetable Stock

2 Ripe Pears

16oz Pear Nectar

2 – 29oz Cans of Pureed Pumpkin

3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar

3 Cups of Nonfat Greek Yogurt

3 Tsp Curry Powder

3/4 Tsp Gara Masala

Salt to taste

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds/Sesame oil for garnish

Directions:

Place onions into a large pot with sesame and olive oils to saute.

As they begin to turn translucent, add in carrots & potato.

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When the carrots and potatoes are soft, remove from heat.

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Slice pear, and add into sauteed vegetable mix.

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Using a blender, puree mixture in batches. For each batch you’ll want to add a bit of vegetable stock and pear nectar to cool it down.

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Return pureed mixture to heat on the stove. Stir in pumpkin, brown sugar, spices, and any remaining vegetable stock/pear nectar. Let cook until mixture is heated through.

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Pour into a serving bowl, and stir in yogurt.

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Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and sesame oil, then serve!

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Summer Spring Rolls

I love spring rolls, but when they’re fried, I can’t really eat them without feeling some guilt. That’s why these rice paper spring rolls are great. Fill them up with fruit and veggies, and you have a guilt free, fresh, summer hors d’oeuvre. You can find the rice paper wrappers at any Asian market, or I usually buy mine from our local Whole Foods. Messing around with combinations for filling is half the fun, but this combo has proven to be a favorite amongst my friends. It’s also one of my own favorites – easy, no cook, and so utterly fresh tasting.

You’ll Need:

1 avocado cut into slices

1 mango, peeled and sliced into strips

½ cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 carrot, shredded

4 leaves of red leaf lettuce, torn up into pieces

2 sprigs of cilantro

9 rice paper wrappers

Basin filled with hot water to soak wrappers in

Directions:

Soak wrapper in hot water until it becomes pliable and bendy.

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Take the rice paper out, and lay it out on a kitchen towel to absorb some of the excess water. Pile on a bit of each ingredient right in the center of the wrapper.

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To roll it up, first fold up the lower half, keeping everything tightly together

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Then fold in either side

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And roll it up the rest of the way

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Do the same for each spring roll. Serve with any dipping sauce you would like. Chili dipping sauce or soy sauce are two that taste great

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