enjoy hot soup in a fun mug
I wanted something light to eat for lunch and for some reason pumpkin soup came to mind. I've never had pumpkin soup and wasn't sure where to find a recipe. But then another thought enlightened me: look in Elizabeth David's French Provincial Cooking.
Rural French cooking is much like Montana cooking in that it uses what's available. If you can find something fancy to brighten a dish, grab it and rejoice. But often exotic ingredients just can't be found within arm's reach here on the ranch. The IGA in town does its best, but they won't sell anything that isn't widely popular and will simply spoil on the shelf.
Cookbooks by Elizabeth David are fun to read, but the recipes tend to be squashed together, and you won't find lavish mouthwatering photos of any, let alone every, dish.
You will find practical recipes that often use plain ingredients. Although I haven't done the research to verify this, I suspect that for any ingredient you have on hand, you can find a recipe in one of her books.
To make a thick, creamy soup, I simmered a pound of home-grown pumpkin pulp (it was frozen, so I just dumped the chunk into the pot), a chopped celery stalk, a cup and a half of 2 percent milk, and a cup of chicken stock. After half an hour, I pureed it with my hand blender and seasoned it.
Elizabeth David went on to add shrimp, but I stirred in a bit of cooked chicken that was on hand.
The photo shows the soup with freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg sprinkled on top. (Sorry for the blurry photo!)
A tasty lunch, with, I'd say, 98 percent of the ingredients (I don't know where the celery came from) produced in Montana.