stew

Pumpkin Potage with Toasted Farro

Pumpkin Potage with Toasted Farro
Pumpkin Potage with Toasted Farro

It's rare that I cook with pumpkin. Really rare. Like, once a year... maybe. For a while, we kept canned pumpkin puree around and I would use it to make a quick soup or these brownies, but for whatever reason, we stopped purchasing it.  The one time I cooked with fresh pumpkin, it was kind of a process. I roasted the flesh and blended it with vanilla and spices and whipped up what would turn out to be some of the best pancakes I've ever consumed. Did I follow a recipe? No. Do I remember what I did? Nope. And I have yet to attempt recreating it.

So, that was the last time I cooked with pumpkin... that is until a few weeks ago when one came in a box from Blue Apron. For those unfamiliar with the company, Blue Apron is a service where people can have fresh ingredients and recipes delivered to their homes.  Printed on the recipe cards are step-by-step instructions that include color photographs.  I never promote a business without trying out the product first, so I asked to have a box sent to me. Let's just say that I was impressed.

One of my fears was that everything would come pre-chopped and that all I'd have to do is throw it in a pan and I'd have a meal in 15 minutes. What does that teach anyone about cooking?   I was thrilled to find that while ingredients came pre-portioned, there was quite a bit of work that was required. The recipe Blue Apron provided in the shipment, a pumpkin veggie potage, required that I roasted the pumpkin and seeds, toast the farro, chop the onions and garlic, and let it all stew in a pot for a period of time.

The potage is one of many vegetarian recipes Blue Apron has in their database and it's the ideal meal for a cold fall day.  The recipe, which can be found here, includes a "New World Spice Blend" which contains garlic, basil, onion, marjoram, thyme, fennel, turmeric, and cinnamon.  The "veggie base" is Better Than Bouillon brand, but it was suggested that veggie broth would work as a substitute (my recommendation is to not use a low-sodium broth as this is main supply of salt in the dish).

If you're interested in ordering from Blue Apron, they've generously provided a 30% off coupon to A Thought For Food readers.  Just use this link to order.

Pumpkin Potage with Toasted Farro
Pumpkin Potage with Toasted Farro
Pumpkin Potage with Toasted Farro
Pumpkin Potage with Toasted Farro
Pumpkin Potage with Toasted Farro
Pumpkin Potage with Toasted Farro
Pumpkin Potage with Toasted Farro
Pumpkin Potage with Toasted Farro

Other bloggers featuring Blue Apron

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Roasted Vegetable Kebabs with Curried Chickpeas and Yogurt Sauce on

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Ligurian Chard with Pine Nuts and Feta on

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Butternut Squash Mac 'n Cheese on

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Disclosure:  Blue Apron provided me with compensation for this post.  All opinions in this post about Blue Apron's products and this recipe are my own. 

Seafood Stew

Another fifteen inches of snow fell on our neighborhood over the weekend. We spent most of Saturday preparing for this latest storm, clearing out the driveway as much as possible so that we'd have a place to shovel the new pile. Thankfully, it didn't start until later in the evening. But by the time we awoke on Sunday, the mounds surrounding our house had grown. After some breakfast and a few hours of reading newspapers, Eric suited up for some shoveling. I offered to help, but he said he was ok with taking care of it. As this was the first Sunday I wasn't working in over a month, I didn't argue with him.

That's not to say that I wasn't helpful. I did what I could, getting some laundry and cooking done. Eric had talked about making a goat stew, the task of which soon became mine to take on. I've never cooked goat, but I had a feeling it needed a couple of hours of simmering time. As someone who doesn't consume much meat and prepares it even less frequently, I feel a great deal of pride when a dish comes out tasting the way it's supposed to. And as good as it tasted, it smelled equally delightful. How wonderful it'll be when he walks through the door and can take in these wonderful aromas. 

As for my dinner, I had already planned on putting together a batch of seafood stew. Before the weekend, I'd stocked up on an assortment of fish and other sea creatures. This is my new obsession. Getting a little of a number of ingredients and throwing them into a pot. This time it was a combination of squid, shrimp, littleneck clams, bay scallops and salmon.  After a long day of shoveling, I poured us a glass of wine and ladled our his and his stews into our respective bowls. We threw a couple blankets on top of our laps and curled up on the couch. It wasn't an official Valentine's Day celebration, but it certainly was a nice reminder of the life we've built for ourselves and the little (and not so little things) we do for one another.

 

Seafood Stew

Yields: approx. 4 servings

Ingredients

1/2 lb salmon, skin removed and fillets cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch cubes 12 littleneck clams 3/4 lb squid, cleaned tentacles (cut in half, if necessary) and bodies (sliced into rings) 1/2 lb bay scallops 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 lb plum tomatoes, chopped 1 fennel bulb, chopped 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes 3 carrots, chopped 1 1/2 tbsps chopped fresh parsley 3 cups seafood stock Kosher salt Black pepper Olive oil

Directions

1. In a large skillet with a lid, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion, season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add chopped fennel and potato and cook for 3 minutes, giving it an occasional stir.

2. Add chopped tomatoes and seafood stock.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook for 15 minutes.

3. Add the squid, scallops, shrimp and clams. Cover and let cook for 2 minutes.

4. Take the lid off and add the salmon. Season with salt. Cover and let cook for another 6 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through and the clams have opened.

5. Sprinkle fresh parsley over stew before serving. Can be served in bowls on its own, on top of couscous or rice, or with crusty bread.