“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” is one of the mainstays of my childhood repertoire. I must confess to searching for this seasonal special each year.
As the brisk temperatures arrive, the falling leaves and the beautifully decorated sukkot give me inspiration to cook with the lovely squash harvest that lines the shelves of the produce markets. From toasted pumpkin seeds to butternut squash soup, we have so many options to please many palettes. These are two of my autumnal favorites.
OLD-FASHIONED SOFT PUMPKIN COOKIES
For the cookies:
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 cup pumpkin filling
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the glaze:
- 2 cups confectionary sugar
- 3 Tbsp. milk
- 1 Tbsp. melted butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine dry ingredients (except sugar) in a bowl.
- In another bowl, beat sugar and butter until smooth. Beat in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Beat dry flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture.
- Using a spoon or small scooper, drop batter onto greased baking sheets (preferably parchment lined).
- Bake for 15-18 minutes. Cookies should be slightly browned around edges and should have “puffed” up.
- Mix together glaze ingredients and set aside until cookies cool for two minutes. Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies.
ROASTED VEGETABLE AND KALE SOUP
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
- 2 large tomatoes, quartered
- 1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut lengthwise into half-inch thick wedges
- 4 cups of finely chopped kale
- 6 garlic cloves
- olive oil
- 6 cups or more of vegetable or chicken broth
- 3 large fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 15-oz. can of Great Northern white beans, drained
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush baking sheet with a thin coat of olive oil.
- In a bowl, combine carrots, squash, tomatoes, onion, and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Arrange carrots, squash, tomatoes, onion, and garlic on the baking sheet. Roast vegetables and stir occasionally until they are brown and tender, about 45 minutes. Save browned bits to add to stock.
- Puree tomatoes, garlic, and onion in food processor until almost smooth.
- Cut cooked squash and carrots into smaller half-inch pieces.
- Add broth and vegetable puree to large pot. Add kale, thyme, and bay leaf to pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until kale is tender, about 30 minutes.
- Add carrots, beans, and squash to soup. Simmer 8-10 minutes to blend flavors, adding more broth to thin soup if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.
- Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf before serving.