I left work about a half hour early to visit my dad at his first chemotherapy treatment. He was at the hospital in outpatient for this initial dose, but the rest of his treatments here on out will be at his oncologist's office. He seems to be in good spirits, even cracking some jokes with the nurses when I arrived. My Patient Services Manager Mike told me that the first dose of rituxan is usually the worst because the docs give you a lot to see what you can handle and then decrease the dosage as you continue. My dad's only side effects today were stiffness and chills. I talked to Mike after we found out my dad's treatment plan and he's actually having a speaker come in to talk about rituxan next month. Perfect timing!
After checking in with dad, I ran by the grocery store to pick up supplies to make pumpkin soup. It's thick and creamy like tomato soup but tastes like fall! My friend Kristen sent me a bunch of pumpkin recipes and I figured today would be perfect to try out the pumpkin soup recipe.
2 pumpkins, about 4 pounds (or one large can of pumpkin puree)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
2 1/2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup reserved
2 cups chicken stock
Directions: If using whole pumpkins, preheat oven to 375°. Cut each pumpkin in half, remove seeds. Place the halves, skin side down, in a shallow roasting pan; add ¼ cup water. Cover with foil and bake until tender, about one hour and 15 minutes. When pumpkin is cool, scrape out pulp.
Place pulp into a pot and toss with butter, sugar and spices. Add the chicken stock and heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Purée the soup in a food processor until smooth. (If using canned pumpkin, you do not need to purée in a food processor.)
Use ½ cup reserved heavy cream to make whipped cream, add a pinch of salt and whip until soft peak stage in an electric mixer. Garnish warm soup with the whipped cream, run a toothpick through to make a design. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds, or a star anise.
The verdict: I used canned pumpkin because it's easier and I didn't make the whipped cream deal for garnish. I also just used 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice instead of the ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. To make it more pumpkin pie-y, I'd add more but I liked the flavor enough with just the one tablespoon. The soup was really good! The chicken stock really makes it taste more like soup than pumpkin pie and I added just a little more cayenne pepper to kick up the heat. It's very hearty and definitely hit the spot. I didn't have anything to eat with it but I'd like to try it with cornbread or saltines. Sweet and salty are my weakness (enter: chocolate covered pretzels.)
|No soup for you!|
I spent all of yesterday (literally, all day) finishing A Discovery of Witches. It was good and definitely ended on a cliff hanger, making me anxious for the sequel. The book seemed to go on forever though so if you're looking to read it, make sure you have some time on your hands...
Until next time, friends! Don't forget about The Roast of Charlie Sheen tonight!