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Enjoy savory side of pumpkin spice (with a twist)

Recipe: Creamy spiced pumpkin soup warms the season

Pumpkin soup in bowl
Creamy spiced pumpkin soup is as pretty as it tastes. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)





It's pumpkin spice season! This creamy pumpkin soup substitutes curry powder and turmeric for the usual cinnamon and cloves.

If you grow pumpkins, you likely have some mashed pumpkin pulp in the freezer. (Of course, canned pumpkin works in this recipe, too; this soup is a variation of a recipe popularized on the back of pumpkin cans more than 30 years ago.)

Got fresh pumpkin? Steam or zap pumpkin pieces in the microwave; scoop out the flesh with a spoon and mash.

Orange-fleshed winter squash such as butternut or acorn also work in this recipe.

Full bowl of pumpkin soup
This spiced soup makes a great winter warmer -- or serve
it at your Thanksgiving meal.

Creamy spiced pumpkin soup
Makes 3 to 4 servings

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 big dashes crushed red pepper (or more to taste)
1-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup mashed pumpkin
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped chives (optional)

Instructions:

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Sauté onions until soft and translucent.

Add garlic powder, curry powder, turmeric and crushed red pepper; stir and cook until well blended, about 1 minute. Add broth and bring to gentle boil. Adjust heat and let simmer 5 minutes.

Add pumpkin, cream and milk. Stir and bring to gentle boil again. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.
Season to taste (depending on the broth, it may need nothing).

Serve hot, garnished with chives.

Note: For a vegan version, omit the cream and milk; use margarine and vegetable broth.

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RECIPE

A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.

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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with "eyes" about an inch below the soil surface.

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