I’m so excited Thanksgiving week is here! One of the highlights of the week will be having my Dad’s side of the family for a soup supper on Thanksgiving Eve. Because we will all be stuffing ourselves silly with heavy meats, carbs, and sweets on Thursday, Wednesday evening’s meal will be simple and light. Well, lighter. There will be a couple kinds of soup, plus bread and crackers. And it’s a must to finish the night with a s’mores bars for the kids- kids of all ages, that is.
I gravitate towards recipes that utilize seasonal veggies and fruits, and so here’s a menu starring cranberries and pumpkins! Let’s start with a Fall Cheese Platter and Cranberry-Apple Chutney.
2 cups chopped apples
2 cups cranberries
1/4 cup (or less) finely chopped onion
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped gingerroot
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
In a saucepan, mix all chutney ingredients. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about an hour. Continue to stir frequently until the mixture thickens and the cranberries and apples are tender.
Serve with crackers and an assortment of desired cheeses such as Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Colby Jack, and Swiss. For a very fallish presentation, use cookie cutters in shapes of leaves and acorns.
CURRIED PUMPKIN SOUP
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 large onion
2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
2- 15 oz. cans pumpkin
1- 32 oz. carton chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
Fresh thyme sprigs
In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic in oil about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Stir in the curry powder, salt, red pepper, pumpkin, and broth. Heat to boiling and then reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes; stir occasionally. Remove from heat and cool about 10 minutes.
Slowly pour half the soup mixture into a blender. Cover and blend on high speed about 15 seconds or until smooth. Pour into a separate bowl and repeat with the remaining soup.
Return all pureed soup to the Dutch oven and stir in the whipping cream. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until thoroughly heated. Garnish with crème fraiche and fresh thyme.
I found the chutney recipe and soup recipe on the Betty Crocker website years ago and made some very slight changes. I’ve been making these every year since.
This is called *bread* but should be called *cake*! We eat this all fall and winter for breakfast, dessert, and snacking.
3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 can pumpkin
1 cup oil
1 bag fresh cranberries
Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl; set side. In a separate bowl mix all remaining ingredients, except for the cranberries. Mix wet and dry ingredients together. Stir in the cranberries. Grease 2 loaf pans and dust sides and bottom with cinnamon-sugar. Divide the batter between the 2 pans and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until it starts to crack on the top, depending on your oven. It is outrageously moist inside while sugar-crunchy on the outside! I keep the ingredients on hand for this bread all fall and winter so I can whip up a couple loaves when I need a gift for someone. Pairs wonderfully with pumpkin coffee!
This recipe is adapted from the Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins recipe out of Beyond Turkey: A Thanksgiving Feast of Fun, Facts, and Activities. This is my favorite Thanksgiving book for kids and I’ve used it since my girls were very little. It’s full of activities, games, recipes, and the Pilgrim story illustrated beautifully in watercolor.
Alrighty, friends! I’m about to pull some more recipes and make my shopping list. It’s grocery day and I have a lot of fun cooking to do this week! Tomorrow I’ll share a super-easy recipe for the kiddos to make ahead for Thanksgiving morning!