|(Left Over) Mashed Potato Pumpkin Soup|
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 small red bell pepper, chopped
2 small carrots
1 cup mashed potatoes (waxy potatoes are the smoothest)
1 cup canned pureed pumpkin
1 cup water or vegetable broth
1/2 cup soy milk
1 tbsp of parsley (minced)
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika, mainly for color
salt to taste
dash of black pepper
a couple of dashes of nutmeg, or to taste
1- Saute the onion and the red pepper in a little bit of olive oil for about 8 minutes or until soft.
2- In a blender or large food processor, combine the sauteed onion and peppers, carrots, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pure, water, soy milk, parsley, and paprika and blend until very smooth.
3- Transfer the soup to a pot and add salt, black pepper, nutmeg to taste.
5- Simmer until thoroughly hot and serve. This made two bowls of soup.
This soup has a mild pumpkin flavor, if you want it super “pumpkiny” add an extra 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree.
If you want to draw the creepy face on it, you just need to spoon two big drops of a smooth marinara, pizza sauce, or even tomato sauce for the eyes, one big drop for the nose, and one curvy line for the mouth. Then take a toothpick and “drag” the tomato sauce eyes and nose to create triangles. Also using a toothpick, draw a zigzag line across the mouth to create the creepy mouth effect. It sounds more complicated than it is, and it doesn’t have to be perfect – mine certainly isn’t!
Now on to dessert! If you’re expecting a super healthful cookie, then turn around and keep looking-this ain’t it! These Halloweegan Pumpkin-O’s consist of a smooth pumpkin cream, sandwiched between two crunchy chocolate shortbread cookies.
For the chocolate shortbread:
1/2 cup Earth Balance or other vegan butter substitute
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 to 2 tbsp water
1- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
2- In a medium size bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the EB and the brown sugar. Beat well until smooth and creamy.
3- Stir in 1/2 cup of flour and the cocoa.
4- Add 1 tbsp of water and blend it in.
5- Add the rest of the flour, adding more water if needed. The dough should be just firm enough for you to be able to roll it out and cut out your cookies. Not too firm, but not too sticky and unmanageable.
6- Roll out the dough (no more than 1/4 inch thick) on a floured surface and use a cookie cutter to cut out pumpkin shaped cookies. Round or oval cookies will also work just fine.
7- Carefully transfer the cookies to the prepared cookie sheet and bake for about 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool down to room temperature before you start the cream filling.
This made 4 big sandwiches (8 single cookies).
Ingredients for the pumpkin cream:
1/4 cup Earth Balance or other butter substitute
2 tbsp pumpkin puree
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tbsp vanilla
cinnamon to taste (a couple of dashes was plenty for me)
1- In a small mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the Earth Balance.
2- When the EB is light and fluffy, add the rest of the ingredients and keep mixing on high until creamy and smooth.
3- Use a spatula to spread the filling on top of half of the cookies. Top them with the other half.
I used melted chocolate chips to draw the faces, using a decorating tip. You can melt your chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals (cook and stir, cook and stir, until melted) or if you’re fancy and proper you can use a double boiler. To fill the eyes and the nose after I drew them with the melted chocolate chips, I used a powder sugar and carrot juice icing that I didn’t measure at all. Sorry. I gradually added carrot juice to a little bit of powder sugar until it was the right consistency. Looking back now, I probably would have added a pinch of paprika and turmeric to give it a deeper orange color. Oh well, there’s always next time.
Keep the sandwich cookies refrigerated and eat them cold so the cream stays put. Also, these have a mild, pleasant pumpkin flavor. Add more pumpkin to taste for a stronger pumpkin flavor.
Phew! That was a long post!