Arroz Con Pollo – Chicken with Rice

img_2654I have eaten many wonderful versions of paella in my lifetime – those that others have made and paella that I have made. It was a favorite dish from my mother’s repertoire. But sometimes I want something just as good but a bit simpler – no seafood and no sausage. I turn to Arroz Con Pollo or Chicken with Rice. This is a dish that can easily be made for a weeknight dinner and the only exotic ingredient is saffron. Most everything else you would have in your pantry or could easily pick up at most grocery stores or a good bodega. When you think you have just about had as much chicken as you can stand, give this wonderful dish a try. To turn any weeknight special, serve this with a hearty Spanish red wine. It just might renew your love for that old clucker!

Arroz Con Pollo

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

4 chicken thighs, bone-in but skin removed (This is easily accomplished using paper towels to grab off the skin in one good pull.)

4 to 5 chicken drumsticks, skin removed

About 3 to 4 Tablespoons of EVOO

1 Spanish onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

8 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

1 large Cubanelle pepper cut into large dice (If you cannot find this dark pepper you can use a banana pepper)

8 to 10 large green olives stuffed with pimento

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Kosher Salt and cracked black pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup long-grain white rice

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled

About 2.5 cups of chicken broth or water

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 cup frozen peas, defrosted

1 roasted red pepper from a jar, rinsed and thinly sliced into strips

Directions

  1. In a large heavy skillet with straight sides and a tight-fitting lid (I like my cast iron Lodge pan) that will hold all of the chicken pieces in one layer, heat the EVOO until it just begins to ripple but not smoke.
  2. Generously salt and pepper the chicken pieces and brown them in the oil on all sides (about 8 minutes). Remove the chicken to a platter and keep nearby.
  3. Add the chopped Cubanelle pepper and the onion to the pan, adding more oil if necessary, stirring to soften. Add the cumin and cloves and the olives and some additional salt. (Remember that the olives have salt so go easy.) Once everything has begun to soften and the spices are giving off a lovely aroma, add the rice, tomato paste and the crumbled saffron, mixing well. You want all of the grains of rice to be coated with the oil and seasonings.img_2650img_2651
  4. Pour in enough liquid (stock or water) to cover the rice by a couple of inches. Add 1/2 of the chopped cilantro and mix through. Bring everything to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling rapidly, add back the chicken pieces, coating them in the liquid which has taken on the color of saffron. Cover the pan tightly and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes and then gently stir through the defrosted peas and garnish with the strips of red pepper. Cover and allow to sit for 10 minutes with the heat turned off. This will be enough to heat through the peas and red pepper without over-cooking them. Garnish with the remaining chopped cilantro. img_2652

Focaccia

img_2648If you have been following my blog then you know that I broke my foot over Thanksgiving, so between that and the polar vortex we have been under, getting out has not been a priority. That doesn’t mean, however, that I am willing to compromise on food. I had made some eggplant Parmesan for dinner and knew that we would be having soup or pasta in the next couple of nights. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any good bread in the house to go with these dinners and as my readers also know, I LOVE  good bread. None of this no carbs nonsense for me. I would much rather go without meat than bread. Okay, I’ll get off of my soapbox now.

I decided on focaccia which is really quite simple to make. While I don’t have a brick oven, I do have bricks in my oven as well as a pizza steel. The bricks I picked up from a construction site… They stay in my oven all the time and have also come in handy when I need to press something down like my tofu. No buildings were harmed in the process.

I started with a recipe from The Italian Baker by Carol Field. I have made a few things from this cookbook and so far they have required some adjustments. I also like to improvise a bit so since this recipe makes three focaccia, I chose a different topping for each: sun-dried tomato, olives and just sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Once you learn the basics, you can fool around. Sometimes the results are amazing and sometimes not, but rarely is something such a failure as to be inedible. So loosen up and have fun. Try this with my White Bean Soup with Pesto and Chorizo. And as an extra bonus, these focacce also make great sandwich bread, split like you are dividing a cake for layer cake. Try it with homemade pesto, herbed turkey breast and arugula or radicchio.

Focaccia alla Genovese  

Yield: Three 9-inch round focacce or two 10.5 inch x 15-inch rectangular focacce

Ingredients

2.5 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet, although this is a very inefficient and expensive way to buy yeast)

1/4 cup warm tap water

2.25 cups plus 1 Tablespoon tap water, room temperature

2 Tablespoons EVOO plus more for the pans

About 5.5 cups of flour ( I used a mixture of 3 cups all-purpose and 2.5 cups of bread flour)

1 Tablespoon fine sea salt

Fresh or dried herbs (optional)

Directions

While this can be made in a machine, it is so easy to make by hand so I am only including instructions for that method. If you want to make it by machine, buy the book!

  1. Stir the yeast into the 1/4 cup of water in a large mixing bowl. (My house tends to be on the chilly side because I like it that way, so I always run hot water to rinse my bowl before adding yeast.) Allow to stand for about 10 minutes. You won’t see a whole lot happening but the yeast is blooming.
  2. Stir in remaining water and EVOO. Add 2 cups of the flour and the salt and stir until smooth. (If you like, you can add about 2 to 3 Tablespoons of fresh chopped herbs like rosemary or sage or 1.5 Tablespoons dried at this point.) Stir in 3 more cups of flour, one cup at a time, until the dough comes together. Knead on a lightly floured surface, adding flour as necessary for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the dough is velvety and soft but not sticky.
  3. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl, rolling the dough to cover it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rise until doubled, about 1.5 hours. Since my house is pretty cool, I warm my oven to 170 degrees F. while I am preparing the dough, then turn it off. I place my dough in the slightly warm oven to rise. You don’t have to do this, but if your house is on the cool side it may take a little longer for the first rise. If you are okay with this, it is not a problem for the dough.
  4. Punch down the risen dough and divide into 3 equal parts for the round focaccia. (You could weigh these out if you want to be exact or you could eyeball it like I do. I like to live on the edge!) Shape each third into a thick disk and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes. I spray a bit of PAM on each disk so the dough doesn’t dry out. You could also cover them lightly with plastic wrap. After about 10 minutes, the gluten should have relaxed enough that you can easily roll out each to a 9-inch circle. Place each round into a well-oiled 9-inch pie or cake plate. Cover the dough with a dish towel and allow them to rise for 30 minutes. I just leave them on my counter for this part.
  5. After the dough has risen a bit, use your fingers to aggressively “dimple” the dough, leaving indentations that are about 1/2 inch deep. Just poke the dough. Cover the pans with a damp towel. I just wring my towel(s) out in warm water until there is no dripping. Allow the dough to rest for 2 hours. By this time the dough should be just about to the top of the pans. After 1 hour, heat your oven to 400 degrees F. This is especially important if you are using a pizza stone or steel or bricks. You want the oven as hot as possible since a home oven cannot achieve the temperatures of a brick oven.
  6. Drizzle EVOO all across the top, making sure that all of the dimples have oil in them. Now it’s up to you. You can simple sprinkle sea salt or Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper on top or you can add some fresh herbs. You can add some chopped olives or sun-dried tomatoes pressed into the dimples. Drizzle a bit more EVOO and add salt to the tomatoes if using. img_2634
  7. Place your pans in the oven. If you are using stones, place them directly on the stones or steel. During the first 10 minutes, spray water above the pans and quickly close the oven door to trap the steam. If you don’t have a spray bottle, take throw a couple of Tablespoons of water onto the bottom of the oven being careful to not hit the glass on the door or the light bulb in the oven – either of which could crack. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pans and place the breads on a rack. As you can see from my photo, I have raised the rack using inverted custard cups to allow as much airflow underneath as possible. You don’t want soggy focacce. img_2642
  8. Enjoy the focacce warm from the oven or at room temperature.DO NOT refrigerate them. You can freeze focacce successfully and warm them in an oven when ready to eat.

 

Christmas Lamb Shanks

img_2629Okay, so I don’t celebrate Christmas and these lamb shanks can be eaten any time. I named them Christmas Lamb Shanks because I am using an heirloom Christmas Lima Bean that I bought through Rancho Gordo, the premier site for heirloom beans and other wonderful one-0f-a-kind goodies from south of the border. I was introduced to this company on a trip to Napa Sonoma that my husband and I took with Frances and Matthew a few years ago. Of course, if you don’t have access to these beans, which are meaty and unctuous and taste ever so slightly of chestnuts, you could substitute a good dried lima bean or other large runner bean.

Chicago is currently under a polar vortex and a former colleague from Russia says that we are living in Chiberia! This dish only takes about 30 minutes of prep time but then you want it to cook low and slow so it is wonderful to make on a day when you are stuck indoors. Alternatively it could probably be made in a slow cooker or cooked overnight and then reheated when you are ready to eat. This dish cries out for a really full-bodied red wine, preferably from California or Oregon, but a Shiraz or Spanish Rioja would also be wonderful.

I really don’t do any serious measuring and this dish can be increased easily – only limited by the size of your Dutch oven. The amount I made is enough for four servings and I used a 5 quart oval Dutch Oven to give you a reference point.

Christmas Lamb Shanks

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

3 to 3.5 pounds of lamb shanks (The lamb shanks these days seem to run really large so I am using only 2. The meat will be falling off of the bone so it is not a problem; however, if you are really looking for presentation, try to find 4 small shanks or serve the 2 on a platter and then remove the meat from the bone.)

1 pound of dried runner beans, soaked 18 hours (I changed the water 3 times before going to bed. You could soak them for less, but I want them REALLY unctuous.)

2 to 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 to 3 Tablespoons of EVOO or Grapeseed oil

1/4 cup of whatever red wine you will be drinking or have opened from the night before

5 large shallots, peeled, split into its 2 parts and left whole

1 head of garlic, separated into cloves which are trimmed, peeled and left whole or are lightly smashed img_2622

4 carrots, peeled and cut into 3 or 4 chunks each

2 bay leaves

1 Tablespoon dried rosemary

Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

4 cups of chicken stock

28 ounces of whole San Marzano tomatoes, squeezed by hand into rough chunks

1 Tablespoon tomato paste

8 ounces whole button or Cremini mushrooms

3 Tablespoons of chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley for garnish

Directions

  1. Drain your beans which should have almost doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a Dutch Oven or heavy duty casserole (I recommend Staub or Le Creuset) large enough to fit the lamb shanks in one layer and hold everything else, heat the EVOO or Grapeseed oil to hot but not smoking. (If I am being totally honest, I added 1 Tablespoon of duck fat to the EVOO for flavor and its burning point, but since everyone may not have it around, I didn’t want to complicate things for you.)
  3. Make 3 or 4 deep slits in each lamb shank and stuff the slit with a sliver of garlic. This took 2 cloves from the total. Lightly dredge the shanks in the flour, shaking off any excess. I put the flour in a one gallon plastic freezer bag and threw in the shanks and sealed the bag. I tossed the shanks around to coat. It’s easy and you then just throw away the bag. You can season the flour if you wish with salt and pepper, but I didn’t.
  4. Brown the shanks in the hot oil – about 5 minutes a side. They will brown best if you don’t move them around except to turn once. Adjust your heat so the oil doesn’t burn. Once the shanks are browned, pour in the 1/4 cup of red wine to quickly deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits.
  5. Add everything else to the pot except for the parsley and mushrooms and stir through to mix. The beans and shanks should be covered with the liquid from the stock and tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil on top of the stove, then cover and place in the oven. Cook it for 3 hours, checking once to stir things. Then add the mushrooms and cook covered for 30 minutes more.img_2626
  6. Serve garnished with the parsley. Make sure you have plenty of crusty bread to soak up the sauce or some starch of choice. This dish reheats beautifully and only gets richer with time.

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Kugelhopf

kugelhopf2When I was a junior in college back in the ’70s, I spent five weeks of winter break in France – much of it in a small town in Alsace. I was the guest of a family that I have long since lost contact with, but that holiday was indelibly written into my food memories. Breakfasts consisted of cafe au lait with Kugelhopf (an Alsatian brioche) and beautiful breads baked in whimsical figures. We slathered the bread with fresh, creamery butter and homemade raspberry confiture. Every day we would take long walks on the snowy mountainside and would return ravenous. What we call lunch was the main hot meal of the day and the entire family would sit down together for at least a 2-hour meal. There was no central heating and so afternoons were spent by the fireplace, reading, talking and playing chess. We somehow managed to survive until supper by eating handmade chocolates filled with delicious liqueur and other fillings from a small shop in the village. We then sat down to a late supper of different “wurst” and cheeses and I tasted Clementines from Spain for the first time in my life. There was always a tisane before bed to help us sleep and to “cleanse our liver.” We ate wild boar for Christmas dinner and delicious fish in a cream sauce for New Year’s Eve, ending the celebratory meal with a gorgeous Mont Blanc of chestnut puree and whipped cream. No wonder the French obsessed about their livers! Amazingly, I didn’t gain an ounce that trip. Perhaps it was all of the walking and the energy required just to stay warm in houses lacking central heat. Of course, there was also the compensation of sinking into a feather bed every night where I dreamed about what food wonders the next day would bring.

While I can’t recreate those wonderful five weeks, I am including a small taste with this kugelhopf recipe. The Italians have their panettone  and the Alsatians have their kugelhopf. There are many versions of this delicious treat, but all are a yeast dough, rich with eggs, almonds and raisins. Try it dipped in cafe au lait for breakfast or with a sweet dessert wine later in the day.

As with so many recipes, I always read several and pick and choose judiciously what I believe are the best features of each. This kugelhopf comes from two pastry chefs – David Lebovitz and Christine Ferber. I looked at a third recipe, but since I didn’t use any take-aways, I haven’t included it here.

Kugelhopf

Yield: One Bundt cake serving 8 to 10  img_2618

Ingredients

12 cup raisins
2 tbsp. kirsch
23 cup plus 2 34 cups bread flour
1 cup milk, warmed for 1 minute in the microwave (or just until warm to the touch)
2.5 teaspoons active dried  yeast
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large egg yolks
Zest of one large lemon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
13 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing, cut into 1 Tablespoon-size pieces
13 cup whole blanched almonds, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Directions
  1. In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the kirsch and 2 tablespoons of water. Heat on high in microwave for 30 seconds. Cover and soak for 30 minutes, then strain, discarding liquid.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, combine 23 cup flour with the milk and yeast. Let stand for 30 minutes, then add the remaining 2 34 cups flour, the sugar, and the salt and mix until evenly combined. Add in the egg yolks and continue kneading until incorporated.
  3. Add in the butter and knead on low speed until smooth and shiny, about 8 minutes. (If you are making this by hand, it will probably take 10 to 12 minutes of kneading.) Add in the raisins, lemon zest and toasted, chopped almonds and knead 2 minutes longer. Cover the dough with a dry towel and place in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 12 hours. (My house was pretty chilly so it took considerably longer for this first rise, but under normal circumstances 1.5 hours should do it.)
  4. Punch the dough back down, cover with a dry towel again, and let sit until the dough has risen again, about 45 minutes longer.
  5. Lavishly butter an 8 cup Bundt pan, scatter the sliced almonds around the bottom and sides and set aside.  Using your fist, punch a hole in the middle of the dough and place dough in prepared mold. Cover with a dry towel and let rise an additional 45 minutes.
  6. Heat the oven to 400°. Place the Bundt pan in the oven and lower the temperature to 350°. Bake until golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Immediately turn out onto a wire rack and let cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar to serve. After the first day, assuming you have any left-overs, you can lightly toast thick slices of the kugelhopf that have been buttered in the oven. Okay, so this may not be exactly on the heart-healthy diet, but once a year, this is heaven!

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Chicken Legs with Wine and Yams

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While I have gotten out a little bit, I am beginning to feel like a shut-in. The week of Thanksgiving I had my third stress fracture in 2 years. It is getting quite tiresome and I am filling my days while I stay off my foot with online baking classes and reading recipes. I am taking an online Artisanal Bread Baking class with the author of the Bread Bakers Apprentice – Peter Reinhart through a site called Craftsy that I came across almost by accident. So today I am trying some of my newly acquired techniques on a French Farmer’s Bread.

farm-bread

Well as much as I probably could make a meal out of good bread and a bit of cheese, I thought it might be nice for my husband to actually have something with a bit more to it than that. I tried this recipe from the Jacques Pepin’s Table cookbook, which I have used successfully over the years. This recipe is new for me, though.

If you are like me, you never remember the difference between sweet potatoes and yams. However, after power watching the Netflix series Grace and Frankie with Andrew recently (I highly recommend the series with Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) the arc about yams and the “Yam Man” makes it pretty unforgettable.  Unfortunately, while I am using a “Garnet Yam” because that is what I had in the house, this is actually a sweet potato! Confused? Whether you use yams or sweet potatoes for this dish, it is simple to prepare on a weeknight and delicious to eat. Each element retained its shape and distinct flavor, while melding as a whole. The garlic became unctuous and was wonderful spread on bread. I was skeptical that the garnet yams would be cooked through but they were perfect. My pan could have been a touch bigger ideally but the Lodge pans have a dimpled lid which keeps the moisture circulating so everything was kept moist, while being totally cooked through.

Chicken Legs with Wine and Yams by Jacques Pepin

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

4 chicken saddles  on the bone (drumsticks and thighs) about 2 pounds (or buy the drumsticks and thighs separately as I did)

2 Tablespoons EVOO

1/4 cup chopped onion

4 large shallots, peeled and left whole (I only had 2 on hand so added some extra onion)

8 medium whole mushrooms

1 pound of yams (I had one big beauty, so that is what I used), peeled and cut into quarters. If it is large like mine, I halved it first and then cut each half into quarters.

1 cup dry white wine (I thought this was enough liquid but my husband would have liked more in the final dish, so you could add 1/2 to 1 cup of chicken stock in addition for more sauce)

8 large garlic cloves, peeled and left whole

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

2 Tablespoons, flat leaf parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Using a paper or cloth towel to help you, remove the skin from the chicken. I there was any extra back bone attached to the thigh, remove it and freeze it for soup stock. Separate the drumstick from the thigh if you have purchased “saddles” rather than drumsticks and thighs.
  2. Heat the EVOO in one large or two smaller skillets with lids. (I LOVE my Lodge brand cast iron skillet and recommend getting yourself one if you don’t already have it.) Brown the chicken pieces on medium high heat, partially covered to prevent splattering, on all sides for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the onion and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add the shallots, mushrooms, yams, wine, garlic, slat and pepper.
  4. Bring everything to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to a simmer and boil very gently for 20 to 25 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Chewy Molasses Cookies

img_2600Sunday we had our first snow of the season which was my signal to start baking cookies. As a kid I loved to bake cookies and my father and brother loved to eat them as fast as I could make them. As I grew older, I preferred to make cakes, breads and pies. Cookies seemed like so much effort and they were gone so quickly. But I do so love a really good molasses cookie and this simple recipe satisfies my craving. It’s fairly instant gratification, taking under an hour from start to finish. I used Grandma’s Unsulphured Original Molasses. I mean what’s the point of making a molasses cookie if you aren’t going to go for the full flavor experience? In my oven, these were perfect after 9 minutes. Now I have to admit that while these are a wonderful chewy molasses cookie, I personally really prefer a crisper, even slightly leathery molasses cookie. So I will be on the hunt for a recipe that meets those criteria and hopefully will have it to share in the next couple of weeks since I know that this is prime cookie baking season.

Chewy Molasses Cookies by Alison Roman in December 2013 Bon Appetit

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Ingredients

Yield: 2½ DOZEN

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¾ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 large egg

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

⅓ cup granulated sugar

⅓ cup mild-flavored (light) or robust-flavored (dark) molasses (I used robust-flavored)

¼ cup (packed) dark brown sugar

Coarse sanding or raw sugar (for rolling)

Directions

  1. Place racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 375°. Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and salt in a small bowl. spicesWhisk egg, butter, granulated sugar, molasses, and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Mix in dry ingredients just to combine.
  2. Place sanding sugar in a shallow bowl. Scoop out dough by the tablespoonful and roll into balls (if dough is sticky, chill 20 minutes). Roll in sugar and place on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2” apart. img_2590
  3. Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until cookies are puffed, cracked, and just set around edges (over baked cookies won’t be chewy), 8–10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.

DO AHEAD: Cookie dough can be made and rolled into balls 2 weeks ahead. Freeze on a baking sheet; transfer to resealable plastic bags. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes before rolling in sugar.

Stone Soup

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The week of Thanksgiving was filled with family and friends and entertaining, but everyone has returned to their respective cities and homes and it is just me and my husband. Everyone in my husband’s office is sick and he was not immune, so I of course made soup. We went through a pot of pea soup when I could feel that I was getting sick. Since there is no one to make me soup and I didn’t feel up to grocery shopping, I turned to my pantry to see what I could come up with. I told my husband that the result would either be wonderful or truly awful and until we sat down to eat, I honestly wasn’t sure which way it would go. Thankfully, it turned out to be wonderful.  This soup won’t win any beauty contests, but it will win in the taste category. The result is not necessarily a recipe to follow since you may have different beans on hand or may have parsnips in your veg drawer. It should be viewed as more of a guideline and inspiration. So while I have laryngitis and a cold and really, really don’t feel much like shopping or cooking, I know that I have a wonderful pot of stone soup to turn to.

Lisa’s Stone Soup

Yield: 8 portions

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon EVOO

1 medium onion, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds

2 stalks of celery, sliced

1 smoked turkey leg (I had it in my freezer)

2 cups of dried lima beans (I ALWAYS have dried beans from Rancho Gordo in my pantry)

1 cup of dried Ayocote Morado beans

15 ounce can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup of farro (or other grain)

8 cups of beef broth (you could use chicken or vegetable if that is what you have)

4 cups of water

15 ounce can of pumpkin purée

Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon each of ground ginger, ground cloves and allspice

1 bay leaf

Directions

  1. Rinse the dried beans.
  2. In a 6 quart stock pot or Dutch oven, saute the onions, carrots and celery in the EVOO until translucent and just beginning to brown.
  3. Add the dried beans, turkey leg, broth and water. Bring to a boil and skim the soup (that means removing the scum that rises to the top). Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 2 hours.
  4. After 2 hours, add the farro, cannellini beans, pumpkin puree and seasonings. Cook on a low light for another hour, stirring occasionally. I removed the lid about 30 minutes in, brought the soup to a gentle boil and cooked off a bit of the liquid. I didn’t want this to taste like pumpkin pie, so the seasonings are only enough to give the broth that certain somethin’ somethin’ without knowing exactly what it is. The pumpkin adds richness and smooths out the broth without actually tasting specifically of pumpkin.
  5. Adjust the seasonings and enjoy. This soup only gets better with time and slow cooking. It is filled with umami. It is comfort food at its best.  I actually kept it on a low light for a couple of hours until we were ready for dinner. I had some leftover corn muffins from Thanksgiving in the freezer which I thawed and served with the soup.