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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.


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 Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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