a holiday tradition

food detective

Categories: Soups, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Posted on December 7, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten

Having five adult children, all with partners, most with dogs and two with children, coordinating the holidays could make one feel as if they were running traffic control over O’Hare.

Early on my husband and I began a new tradition. If any of our children wanted to come visit, all they needed to do was pick a date and let us know what holiday they wanted to celebrate. No command performances or tugs of war with the in laws. At first, my husband was skeptical, but then the easy flow of loved ones over crammed chaos turned him into a believer. 

This November we were fortunate enough to have four out of five come for Thanksgiving. One two weeks before, the next the week before, and two the weekend after. Four children, two husbands, one girlfriend, three dogs and two grandsons. We were actually solo for the actual turkey day. Wondering what I made for dinner? Reservations!

When friends reached out to see how I was faring kid-less on this family-focused holiday, I texted them back this picture of my November 25th kitchen. 

I will admit I got a little nostalgic when I turned on the tv and saw the Macy’s Day Parade. I figured I should do something festive to mark the day. When I opened my cupboard and saw a can of pumpkin pack next to the peanut butter, I decided to surprise my hubby with a batch of homemade pumpkin peanut bisque for lunch.

In a large pot, heat two tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add one medium chopped onion, four cloves peeled and smashed garlic, and a pinch of kosher salt. 

Cook, stirring frequently until softened and just beginning to brown, about four minutes. 

Stir in half a teaspoon minced ginger, a diced half jalapeno pepper, can of pumpkin purée, quarter teaspoon smokey paprika, quarter teaspoon cumin and half a teaspoon of kosher salt, cook stirring for one minute. 

Whisk in three cups chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer on medium-low, stirring occasionally for 20 to 30 minutes or until reduced by about a third.

Add a can of coconut milk, a tablespoon of honey and a quarter cup peanut butter to the pot.

Using an immersion blender or working in batches in a standing blender, carefully purée the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat. Do not simmer or boil, or the oils in the peanut butter might separate. Stir in one to two tablespoons fresh lime juice and taste for seasoning.

In a small bowl whisk small amounts of half and half or whole milk into a quarter cup crème fraiche until it just runs off of a spoon.

Ladle the warm soup into bowls, drizzle with crème fraiche, then run a knife through it to feather. Garnish with snipped chives if desired. The soup can be made a couple days in advance, take care when rewarming it.

This view on Thanksgiving night quelled any empty nester pangs we might have felt. And it looks like we will have a December repeat. For Christmas we have troops arriving on the 17th and on the 26th, pretty sure our holidays will be equally merry and bright!

post a comment

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.