Paleo Happy Hour (and a Bonus Pumpkin Soup Recipe)!
Hey folks, I wanted to let you know about a new book that a friend of mine, Kelly Milton, wrote. I first stumbled across Kelly when she began as a graphic designer for our gym, NorCal Strength and Conditioning. While her contributions had been limited to shirt and poster design initially, she soon surprised us with her cooking skills while catering our holiday party. The food was amazing and the guests were pleased with everything served. From the chicken sauté to the spicy meatballs and miniature crust-less quiches, Kelly provided a menu that not only impressed guests but left them begging for the recipes. Skip ahead three years and now Kelly has cooked up an amazing book to share with you all: Paleo Happy Hour.
While you may be worried that this book is just geared towards drinkers, you would be wrong. There are 100 food recipes that will prepare you for entertaining at your home, give you ideas on what to bring to other peoples’ gatherings, and provide ways to add variety to your week-night meals. Also, she guides the reader through the pros and cons of drinking, labels which alcohols can be Paleo friendly, and offers 20 cocktail recipes (that can also be made alcohol-free). At the end of the book, there is a sauce index that lays out all 20 condiments and sauces with ideas on how to use them in a variety of dishes. Lastly, there are 10 party menus perfectly arranged with two appetizers, a main entrée, side dish, dessert and drink!
With the holiday season quickly approaching, this book is a must-have! To follow Kelly and try more of her recipes, visit www.PaleoGirlsKitchen.com. Also, enter her giveaway for some amazing books! To get you in the holiday spirit, she has shared with us her recipe for Halloween pumpkin soup.
Halloween Chipotle Pumpkin Soup with Sweet Potato Cream
This creamy, sweet and spicy soup will be just the dish to warm you up on a cold Halloween night. The elegant web of cream sauce will impress any guest. The pumpkin seeds are delicious as a crunchy garnish on the soup, or all by themselves as a snack!
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes
1 small pumpkin
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup light coconut milk
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup cilantro leaves
sea salt to taste
½ cup sweet potato, peeled, cooked, and cubed
¼ cup coconut milk
⅛ cup chicken broth
½ teaspoon sea salt
Pumpkin Seeds (optional):
¼-½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in half and cut off the stem. Scoop out the stringy pulp, saving the seeds in a strainer. Cut the pumpkin into quarters and place skin side down onto a baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes. Remove the pumpkin and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Then, peel off the skin and cut it into large chunks. * While the pumpkin is baking, you can prepare the seeds as noted on step 4.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, onion, and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes. Then, add in the pumpkin, chicken broth, and coconut milk. Simmer the liquid for 20 minutes. Add the soup to a blender along with the cumin and 1-2 chilies depending on your desired spice level. Make sure the blender has ventilation for the steam to escape. Then, blend on high until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and warm it over low heat. Season with sea salt to taste.
- For the cream, combine the sweet potato, coconut milk, chicken broth, and sea salt in a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Add the mixture to a plastic bag.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the pumpkin seeds to remove any strings. Pat them dry. In a bowl, toss the seeds with chipotle chili powder, sea salt, and olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until crisp.
- To assemble the soup, place a large portion of pumpkin soup in a bowl. Cut a small corner off the bag filled with the cream sauce. Make a small, medium, and large circle with the cream sauce piped from the plastic bag. Take a toothpick or skewer and drag it through the soup, starting from the center and moving out to the edge of the bowl. (For a video of how to make the spider web design with the cream click here: http://www.bhg.com/videos/m/32071496/spiderweb-soup.htm). Sprinkle the top of the soup with some pumpkin seeds and cilantro to finish. Serve and enjoy!
** To round this soup out as a full meal, try adding some chorizo or chipotle chicken sausage!