Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pumpkin Chipotle Soup and I'm Glad to Be Back!


                            "Pumpkin Chipotle Soup is perfect for Thanksgiving!"


It has been a long time since I opened this blog. Opened is the correct word here; as all I've been doing is opening boxes since I last wrote. After visiting Zoe, I recovered at home for a day, before heading to Phoenix to help my parents move. I left on short notice; thought I would be there no more than a week, and ended up being there a full 14 days. It took 10 days just to find the silverware.

Phoenix had delightful temperatures of 90 degrees, (though it is a dry heat) while I was there opening 280 boxes, some stacked in rows 5 boxes high; enough to fill a 2 car garage. 



Add to that more stuff stored in three different storage areas and wine in its own special locker. Yes, now my parents have a new place to call home. It isn't 6000 square feet, but somehow it has managed to hold many of their prized possessions in just 2200. Square feet, that is. Yes friends, that is called downsizing. I must admit that after this I am ready to clean out ever nook and cranny, just so my kids won't have to do it when I'm 80.

I am still missing their old house as monstrous as it was, but this is a safer place with lots of amenities to see them through those golden years. I know they will be happy and well taken care of, and that they will still find many parties to be the life of. Hopefully, the smaller kitchen will make it easier for my mom to cook in and now my dad won't have to sweep the garage and patios. He never liked blowing because he always wondered where the dirt went, if it wasn't picked up! He does make a good point! 


We had lots of decisions to make. Like which wine glasses to save out of the 15 boxes that I had to open. And I've never seen so many varieties of Pam and Better than Bouillon in one place.




 I think she must have shopped at a lot of stores to find all of these varieties. There were countless bottles of rice vinegar and my mom must also have cornered the market on dish towels. There were some strange boxes to open...




 And an awful lot to give away. I think Salvation Army did well. Someone is now the proud possessor of numerous whisks, knives, cheese graters, wine openers, potato peelers, cheese slicers, two toasters, lots of wine glasses and a ton of dish towels, in addition to at least 4 sets of dishware. I hope never to see them again!


I know they are still working hard at it. I know they must be exhausted, because I sure was. Manservant said I came home and went to bed and slept for 12 hours straight. I thought I'd be able to blog a bit while I was there, but I was truly out of my element. I couldn't even read any blogs to comment. I was just too wiped out. You'll have to forgive me! I did manage to reread 2 of the Outlander novels and fall in love with Jamie all over again. There was no thought required about this. We went out to eat for breakfast and lunch for 14 days straight, and found one good Chinese restaurant. That is it!


So now I'm home, until we rent a truck in December to bring a few things back. Trust me though-nothing is coming in to this house without something going out! In the meantime, I plan on cleaning and cooking. And cooking and cleaning. And eating soup. Soup is good. Soup is relaxing. And soup is good for cold weather, of which it is supposed to be -11 degrees tonight. Makes 90 sound like a piece of cake!




Pumpkin Chipotle Soup

(from the San Francisco Chronicle book)
Serves: 6
Ingredients: 1 T butter
1  large chopped onion
1 1/2 t minced thyme
1 large can of pumpkin
Salt to taste
1-2 chipotles from the can, chopped
2 c chicken broth
1/2 c finely ground toasted almonds
1/2 c milk
1/2 c heavy cream 

Garnishes:

Salted Pumpkin Seeds
Sour Cream thinned with a bit of milk
6 strips of crisp bacon

Directions:

Melt butter in a large soup pot. Stir in chopped onion and saute over medium heat about 10 minutes or until translucent. Remove from heat and add pumpkin, thyme and chipotles to pot. Stir well. Now using a hand immersion blender, puree mixture until smooth. Add chicken broth and simmer for about 20 minutes on low heat. Add almonds, milk and cream and heat for about two minutes or until hot. You can make this ahead and reheat. If it thickens, which it will probably do, add more broth, milk or cream to liquify mixture to soup consistency. Garnish with your favorite garnishes. This soup is not too rich, nor too heavy or spicy. It makes a great starter!

Other November Dishes:
Pumpkin Brown Sugar Muffins
Mushroom Lover's Pastry
Smoky Pumpkin Hummus
Hot Brown Sandwich
Tamale Stuffing with Chorizo
Frozen Cranberry Salad
Fresh Cranberry and Apple Salad
Tequila Cranberry Sauce
Waldorf Salad
Brown Sugar Spice Cake with Caramel Glaze
Gingerbread Pear Upside Down Skillet Cake
Whipped Cream Biscuits





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25 comments:

  1. Wonderful looking soup!!
    I'm a soup lover (all year-round) and would loooooooove to try it!!

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  2. 280 boxes????!!! Gosh...they would have killed me...
    The soup looks so creamy and comforting, Abbe. You deserve one more bowl!

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    1. Definitely took a lot of patience and hard work! But they are fairly settled and happy, so it seems! Thanks, Angie!

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  3. Welcome back! We missed you, and are hungry. :-) Thanks goodness you brought us soup -- and this is wonderful. You had me at chipotle. ;-) Good stuff. Moving is the pits, isn't it? We downsized once, and got rid of a bunch of stuff when we did 3 moves in the space of 2 years, one of them a long distance move (we're crazed, we know). Still have way too much stuff! And are gradually getting rid of it. So hard to do when you have a basement, though -- too easy to stick stuff down there! Anyway, good post -- thanks.

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    1. Oh John, you must like punishment! That's a lot of moves! The basement is my husband's office. I figure if I go second then I'll just shovel it all straight into the dumpster! Thanks, John. nice ot be back!

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  4. I'm so glad you got your parents settled and are finally home. I felt the same way about our closets after moving my parents out of their house of 50 years...time to purge! And had to giggle at that box's label... Good to see you cooking again!

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    1. It is amazing how going out to eat gets old fast! Thanks, Liz!

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  5. plates and bowels. that's hysterical.

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    1. When you are moving you have to get a laugh wherever you can! And there were a lot of boxes labeled like that!

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  6. The chipotle must be a great accent to the pumpkin. I'd love a bowl of this tonight. Not a bowel, just a bowl please! : ) I wonder if whoever wrote that was thinking "towels" and "bowls" at the same time? Sounds like there were plenty of both! Glad it brought a laugh to an otherwise difficult job!

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    1. Very clever, Holly! Chipotle and pumpkin are a match!

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  7. Having dealt with John's 'olds' the year before last, I do understand. You were a really wonderful daughter to help them get through this. I'd love a bowel of this soup please because it's outstanding!!

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    1. Thanks Maureen! Yes, I'm dishing out a lot of bowels this week. Our weather is freezing. From the 70's to 0, but that's Colorado!

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  8. Wow! that's a lot of boxes! so nice of you to get your parents settled, gorgeous looking soup!

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    1. Thanks Cheri! Too many boxes, in my book!

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  9. Welcome back! I love using chipotle peppers with pumpkin/winter squash, so i know I'd love this creamy soup!

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    1. You will Amy. It is subtle and good. And thanks!

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  10. Welcome back Abbe! As you know we just downsized and it was a huge project. I'm sure they can't thank you enough for the support and help. This soup looks incredible. Must try it soon.

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    1. Huge, Lea Ann! I'm starting now whether we ever downsize or not! Great, simple soup! Thanks!

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  11. Wow, that's a lot of boxes! Good advice to clean out while we can so our kids don't have to to it later. Wonderful looking soup!

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    1. Whether I clean out or not, I just want them to know, I'm thinking about it! That way, maybe they won't get too mad at me! The truth is though, that it shouldn't matter how much space one has, there is really no reason to have so many of the same thing! Someone else can make good use of it!

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  12. Welcome home back Abbe! I too recently came back to blogssphere after a busy summer. The pumpkin soup looks really hearty and it's exactly what I need as the winter is already here in NYC. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. I am so glad to read this recipe as I have some chipotle peppers that I don't know what to do with! Hope your moving tiredness is all over :)

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  14. Welcome back! It sounds like you have been a very busy little one! I think your movers must from be China as love that Chinglish going on there! (Or was that you in a blurry tired afternoon) Girl you need a break and this delicious pumpkin chipotle soup sounds like the perfect was to chill out. Take care, BAM

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