3 3/4 pounds pumpkin or butternut squash
1 acorn squash (about 1 3/4 pounds)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 white onion (about 4 ounces), peeled, trimmed, and finely diced
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil
Yield: 2 quarts
Cook time: 2 hr 30 min
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut each squash in half and discard the seeds. Brush cut sides with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Arrange the squash cut side down on a rack placed in a baking tray and bake until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool, scoop out the insides of the squash, and puree the flesh in a food processor (you should have about 4 cups of pureed squash). Reserve.
In a medium stockpot, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Over low heat, sweat the onion. Do not allow it to brown. Add the pureed squash and cook over very low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally. Do not allow it to bubble up. Season with the salt, pepper, ginger, and cardamom.
Pour in the stock and bring to a boil, still over low heat, stirring often. Cook about 20 minutes.
In a small saucepan, heat the cream with rosemary sprig. Remove the rosemary and pour the cream into the soup. Transfer to blender or food processor and process, in batches, for 2 to 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
To serve, ladle the soup into heated bowls. Place a tablespoon of cranberry relish in the center, top with a dollop of cardamon cream, then sprinkle with chopped pecans. Drizzle pumpkin seed oil over soup.
Beef Stir-Fry with Carrots, Bell Peppers and Snow Peas
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari (soy sauce)
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 pound top sirloin steak, thinly sliced against the grain
1/2 cup sliced shallots (from about 2 shallots)
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
4 carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 pound snow peas, strings removed
3 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 cup chopped toasted cashews
Combine vinegar, tamari, ginger and garlic in a medium bowl. Toss sliced beef in mixture and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
After beef has marinated, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and marinade and cook until beef is just done to your liking, about 5 minutes. Remove beef and juices to a bowl, cover and keep warm. Add 1/2 cup water to the skillet, bring to a simmer, add shallots and cook 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in bell peppers and carrots. Reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook until vegetables are just fork tender, 7 to 8 minutes, stirring once. Uncover and increase heat to medium-high. Add snow peas and cook 2 minutes thoroughly. Serve with brown rice and garnish with cashews.