Chicken And Pumpkin Soup

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Dear Jess,

First. I miss you. We NEED a phone date soon. Please let me know when you’re available, and we can schedule something asap.

Second. Make this soup.

Mom and I signed up for an organic food box (by a farm called Circle Organic) that we split between the two of us once a week. We signed up because we thought it would be fun to try new things based on the local, seasonal, organic produce we get in our box. I must say: it is fun!

This week I got a pumpkin! My recipe was inspired by a recipe I found on the internet. I threw a chicken (which I got on super sale) that I defrosted over night, into the slow cooker on high for 3 hours, and cooked my pumpkin in the panggangan (cut in half, gut and cook at 325F for about an hour). Both of these take time, but (luckily) very little effort. I just put them in, and was able to complete my other tasks around the house. To make it ‘easier’, you could use canned pumpkin, and pre-cooked chicken from the store. Either way, it will be delicious.

Chicken and Pumpkin Soup
inspired by
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cooked pumpkin, mashed
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups corn
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cooked chicken, pulled/chopped
1 (15oz) can kidney beans
5 large ‘leaves’ of collard greens, stemmed and chopped
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt

Put olive oil, onion, and garlic in a large saucepan. Simmer until onions are softened. Pumpkin and red pepper flakes, and let cook for another 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly.

Add corn and chicken broth. (I took my immersion blender to it at this point… totally optional though…) Bring to a boil.

Add chicken, beans, collards, hot sauce, cumin, chili powder and salt. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

Remove from heat, and serve!

I’m warning you… This will make your house smell amazing!

Have a great Thanksgiving!


Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham was named America’s most Outstanding Restaurant at the James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago on Monday night. Highlands pastry chef Dolester Miles was also named best in the country, making the restaurant the runaway winner at the awards. A panel of chefs, restaurateurs, and food journalists gave chef and owner Frank Stitt’s modern Southern restaurant the honors. The other big winner of the night was Seattle’s Edouardo Jordan, whose JuneBaby was named best new restaurant in America; he was also named Best Chef Northwest for his restaurant, Salare. “People always talk about Portland [Oregon] as the Pacific Northwest restaurant city,” said Jordan. “But they’re like the cool kid with a new name every season. Seattle is showing we are an ongoing force.” He doesn’t credit the rise of Inc. for his restaurants’s successes, although owner Jeff Bezos has dined at Salare. “Seattle has always had big companies—Boeing, Microsoft. They come in and eat, but it’s the people in the city who are making it happen. They’re more engaged than anyone gives them credit for.” The James Beard Foundation Awards recognize restaurants, wine programs, chefs, designers, restaurateurs, cookbook authors, and journalists from around the country. The awards, established in 1990, have recognized industry leaders such as Union Square Hospitality Group’s Danny Meyer and Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park. While it may not have been a good year for such famed restaurant cities as New York and San Francisco (which won only two chef and beverage awards, including Best Service at Zuni, and the Best Chef West winner Dominique Crenn), it was a very good year for women. Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune in New York was named Outstanding Chef in the U.S, and Missy Robbins of Lilia in Brooklyn was named Best Chef New York. Forty percent of this year’s nominees were female. Women won many of the major awards, including Caroline Styne, who was named Outstanding Restaurateur for Lucques Group in Los Angeles. Forty percent of the winners of the regional chef awards were women; last year, that number was 30 percent. For the first time, voters were encouraged to consider qualities beyond food, wine, and ambiance, including respect and integrity. This follows accusations of sexual harassment against such past Beard winners as Mario Batali and John Besh.

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