Saturday, November 1, 2008

Autumn Dinner Menu

With the cooler weather and an itch for soup I searched the frig for autumn fruits and vegetables for this perfect seasonal recipe.

Winter Pear, Apple & Butternut Soup
(from Cooking By Moonlight)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet onion, peeled, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, diced
2 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, chopped
2 Fuji apples, peeled, cored, chopped
1 tablespoon mild curry powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
6 cups of vegetable broth
Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 cup coconut milk

In a heavy bottomed soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onion, and cook gently, stirring frequently until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, squash, pears, apples, curry powder and brown sugar, sauté for 10 minutes. Add the broth and season to taste with salt & black pepper. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the squash and fruit are tender, about 20 minutes. Puree the soup carefully with an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender). Return to the puree to the soup pot, and add the coconut milk. Gently warm the soup through, being careful not to boil. Serve with rye croutons. Serves 6

Rye Croutons
5 slices of German rye bread
Non-hydrogenised soy margarine
Spread the margarine on one side of the bread. Pop it into a hot broiler until crispy, then turnover and repeat with the other side. Remove from the broiler and cut into small squares.

Serve this with a fresh salad of mixed baby greens and the following brownies for desert. These are the best brownies ever and very rich – big time yummy!!

Wolfie’s Chocolatey Moist Brownies
(La Dolce Vegan! By Sarah Kramer)

1 cup flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 12 ounce pkg. soft silken tofu
½ cup oil
½ cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (175degrees C.) Lightly oil and 8x8 inch pan and set aside. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking soda, slat, cocoa powder, and sugar and set aside. In a food processor blend together the tofu, oil, water, and vanilla. Add the walnuts and tofu mixture to the flour and mix together gently until “just mixed.” Pour evenly into the baking pan and sprinkle top evenly with chocolate chips. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Let cool before cutting into squares. Makes 6- 8 brownies. These can be frosted; however I have found these to stand alone on their own wonderfully.

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