Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pesto Potato Soup

I usually have a weekly menu plan, but I've been feeling lazy lately. So when it came time to start supper, I started looking around for inspiration. I let the dog out in the backyard and noticed my basil, which looked like it needed pruning. Hmm. Maybe something with pesto?

Then I started rummaging around in the kitchen. A 10 lb bag of russet potatoes. Hmm. Maybe potato soup?

And then a really crazy idea hit me. Pesto. Potato. Soup.

Whoa. This could be epic.

I started crawling the web looking for a recipe to be my starting point, and found a few. Nothing looked quite right. So I started pulling together bits and pieces, and this is what I came up with.

3 strips of bacon, browned and crumbed
1 tbls butter
1 tbls olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 lb (about 5 medium) potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups milk
3 cups chicken broth
4 tbsp pesto (store bought or fresh)

1. Heat olive oil an butter in stock pot. Add onion and saute until tender.
2. Add milk, chicken broth, and potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
3. Stir in pesto. Salt and pepper to taste.

This soup came together in a snap and was just what the doctor ordered for a cold, rainy day. This one will be showing up in my soup rotation!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pumpkin Scones

Fall is coming! All week, when we've sat out on the porch to have our morning coffee, we've needed fleece pants and sweatshirts. I love it! So when a dear friend came to town, I decided that pumpkin scones would be the perfect snack for our visit.

I modified the recipe a little bit so that they're super healthy! If you want to see the original version, head on over here. But be prepared. The original calls for a whopping 2 cups of sugar! That's more than most cookie recipes. Eek.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling the tops

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 2 baking sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together all-purpose and whole wheat flours, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix in ginger, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
  3. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or your hands. Mix in applesauce, then slowly stir in sugar until well blended. Mix in the eggs and pumpkin.
  4. Separate dough into two balls. Form each ball into a circle, about 7 inches wide and about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut each round into 8 wedges and arrange on baking sheets with at least 1 inch between scones.
  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake in a preheated oven until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove, and let cool on cookie sheets 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.
These scones were excellent! They would be wonderful with raisins, I'm sure. Or even cranberries! I will be making them many times this season. They go great with hot chai!