This guest recipe is courtesy of Cherie Mercer Twohy, author of the I LOVE TRADER JOES COOKBOOK (Ulysses Press, October 2009). Her upcoming book, THE I LOVE TRADER JOES PARTY COOKBOOK (Ulysses Press, November 2010) will feature 28 party themes, including a Halloween theme.
Simple, Slurpable Pumpkin Soup
Sadly, you can’t really use jack-o’-lanterns for cooking. Those babies are bred for carving, not cooking, and the flesh is sadly stringy. But the TJ’s canned pumpkin is great stuff, and worth hoarding. During the Great Pumpkin Shortage of ’09 , I stockpiled cans galore and was able to dole them out to friends who’d gotten caught short, making me their kitchen hero!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ (4-ounce) package chopped pancetta
- 3 tablespoons chopped onion and shallot combination
- 1 (15-ounce) [LH2] can Organic Pumpkin Purée
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)
- 1½ cups shredded Swiss and Gruyère cheese blend
- salt, pepper, and red chile pepper flakes
In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and sauté the pancetta until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. In the same pan, sauté the onion and shallots until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin purée and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Add the sherry (if using), and warm through. Off the heat, stir in the shredded cheese to melt. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and red chile pepper flakes. Garnish with reserved pancetta.
· In The TJ’s Refrigerated Produce Section, There’s A Little Plastic Box With A Combination Of Chopped Onions And Shallots. If You Are Super Prone To Tears When Chopping, These Might Be A Boon To Your Kitchen Enjoyment. If Chopping Is A Zen Exercise For You (as It Is For Me), Give Your Knife Skills A Workout. You Can Use Just Shallot, Onion, Or A Combination—whatever’s Handy!
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes