More Fall Foods

October 3, 2011

Twisted Pumpkin BLOG
This weekend we had a break in the rain just long enough to hit the pumpkin patch with the girls.
The temperature dropped considerably around here, so after a few hours outside, I was really inspired to start cooking some fall foods that not only taste good, but warm the soul.

Bowl of Broccoli Cheddar BLOG
As I was standing in the check-out line at the grocery story, this month's foodnetwork magazine caught my eye.
The cover showed a big giant bowl of soup that made my stomach growl just looking at it.

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup - Courtesy of Foodnetwork Magazine

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups half-and-half
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets
1/3 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 1/3 cups)
Croutons, for topping (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken broth, half-and-half, both potatoes, bay leaf, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl; add 3 tablespoons water and season with salt.
Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes; drain.

When the potatoes are tender, remove the bay leaf from the soup and transfer the soup to a blender.
Puree until smooth, leaving the filler cap slightly open to let steam escape (or puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender).
Return the soup to the pot and thin with water, if necessary.
Return to a simmer over medium-low heat; stir in the broccoli and season with salt and pepper
Add the cheese and stir until melted.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with croutons, if desired.

Close Up of the Bowl of Soup BLOG
Above is the recipe as it appeared in the magazine. I made a few adjustments for mine.
Even though the recipe called for half and half, I used 1% Milk instead but I did not add it until I was about to puree the soup to avoid scalding it.
I also added a shake or two of red crushed pepper flakes to give it a little extra heat and flavor.

tilted close up bowl of soup BLOG
The recipe says that the croutons are optional...... do yourself a favor, ADD THEM!!!
I make my own by cutting up a loaf of day old Italian Bread and then I put it in a nonstick pan with a little olive oil, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a little oregano.
Toss it over medium heat until you see the bread start to brown and crisp up.
Nick will sit there and eat the croutons right out of the pan:)

The soup was awesome!
It was not too rich, but it was still hearty and flavorful.
I will definitely make this one again.

Trio of Whoopie Pies BLOG
After the pumpkin picking this weekend I was in the mood for a pumpkin flavored dessert.
I have never met anything pumpkin flavored that I did not like, so as I paged through the same magazine, I found a recipe for whoopie pies with a pumpkin twist and decided to give them a whirl.

Triple Decker Pumpkin Whoopie Pie BLOG

The Neely's Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Ingredients for the cookies:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt

Ingredients for the filling:
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Using a stand mixer, add the butter and sugar and beat together until light and fluffy.
Add the egg, then the buttermilk and the vanilla.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
Add the dry ingredients in increments to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Drop heaping tablespoons of the batter onto parchment lined sheet trays, leaving a 2-inch space between each cookie.
Put in the oven and bake for 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool on rack.

Beat together the cream cheese and butter, in a small bowl, until smooth.
Slowly add in the confectioners sugar.
Once smooth, add the pumpkin puree, the cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
Beat until smooth and well mixed.

To assemble the cookie, spread a heaping tablespoon of the filling to the flat side of a cookie and sandwich with another.
Repeat with the remaining cookies.
Transfer to a serving platter and serve.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pie BLOG
Yep.... these whoopie pies are as good as they look.
The chocolate cakes are so moist and light tasting and the pumpkin cream cheese filling.... Oh yeah, it does not get better than that!
These will not be around long in our house, they are were flying off the plate faster than I could stack them.
If your kids like those oreo cakesters, they will LOVE these!!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend..... I think Fall is officially here to stay in our neck of the woods and I love it. It is my favorite season of the year.
Happy Fall Y'all!


Unknown said...

Mmmmmmm looks and sounds delicious!

BRRRRrrr! Oh this is going to be a long winter!

Hugs and love! Have a blessed week sweet friend!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Yummy! I love fall/winter comfort foods! Your pictures are to die for! Hope you have a wonderful week.

ZONE F DG TEAM said...

I puree'd a pumpkin this weekend to make your Maine Pumpkin Bread you posted some while ago. We love them as muffins for lunches....mmmm.

I can't wait to try this soup.

Debbie said...


Love Letters To China said...

Wow both of these recipes look and sound delicious! Even though it's as hot as ever here, I think I might give these two a try. They just might make it feel a little like "Fall" around these parts.

Have a wonderful week Lisa! Hope the runny noses don't turn into anything worse. My little one finally went back to school today. :-)


Anonymous said...

Wow! You were busy yesterday in the kitchen!

It all looks so fabulous and the recipes seem pretty simple. I'll have to try them out one day.

Hope you have a great week!

Brooke said...

Looks DELISH!! Can't wait to try that soup this week! Thanks for sharing!! :)

Marla said...

Yummmmmm! Printing both of these off right now and putting them in my book.

Have a great week girl!!

frogglet said...

Oh those look so good! Wish we could try them but no cheese or chocolate for a while in this house. Maybe next fall! That does inspire me to make pumpkin cookies though!

Hannah said...

I am seriously about ready to lick my computer screen. I'm on a "healthy" eating clean eating thing right now but as soon as I am able that soup is going in my tummy!!

Jboo said...

Oh yum -- can you pkg some of this up and send my way!! Looks delish!


The 5 Bickies said...

Thanks for the recipes....I will definitely be trying both!

Anonymous said...

This looks beyond delish! :)

Thank you for sharing the recipes

Mimi said...

Oh Lisa, why'd you do this? I'll be printing them off and making them, I know those cakes will go down very well here! too well!
Thrilled to read last post about Reagan's progress, I knew the words would come tumbling out once she started, but 3 WEEKS! That is FAST! She's such a little cutie with the "concentrated face". You're going to be hearing a lot from her now, all that she has listened to for the last 10 months to be precise! Love it!

Unknown said...

I am in LOVE with your photos..and NOT just because they are food...(although THAT could be enough for me!) but you just have such a great eye for comp, colors and your lighting is always spot on. I don't know if you use lighting equipment, but seeing your photos is a great reason to consider getting some! And thanks for the recipes...I can not wait for cooler weather to start baking!!!

redmaryjanes said...

The soup looks fabulous. And I love the Neely's! No surprise that their dessert is wonderful :)

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

OH how I have missed your food! YUM!


Misty said...

oh yum! It all looks so delish! You take excellent food photos, btw.

the meaklims said...

I'm drooling all over the place! You could totally write and photograph for the Pioneer Woman!


TanyaLea said...

YUMM, YUMM, YUMMMMM!!!! ;) I just printed off both recipes! Thanks for sharing your MANY talents with all of us lucky readers!

Happy FALL!! (It's my favorite time of the year, too!)

~ Tanya

likeschocolate said...

You are making me hungry. I love this chocolate version of the whoopie pie. I just made pumpking ones with cream cheese maple filling. They were yummy!

Gina Kleinworth said...

Okay- now I am really really hungry- those all look sooo good Lisa!