Baby It’s Cold Outside! Winter Pumpkin Soup to Warm the Soul!

Chef Jennifer Booker Cookbook

 

Winter Pumpkin Soup with Parmesan Croutons & Bacon Chips

Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

Serves 4

Any type of winter pumpkin or squash, such as Sugar Pie pumpkin or butternut squash, can be used for this soup. Just remove the seeds, cut it into wedges, drizzle with olive oil, and roast in a 350° F oven. The roasting softens the vegetable and reinforces its natural sweetness. The addition of stock and cream gives the soup a velvety smoothness, and the croutons and bacon chips add a nice crunch.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 slices of Hickory smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch strips

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1⁄2 medium white onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups roasted pumpkin, mashed, or unsweetened pumpkin puree

2 1⁄2 cups chicken stock

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1⁄2 cup heavy cream

2 cups stale bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1⁄4 teaspoon red chili flakes

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

In a large stockpot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the bacon and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, then add the rosemary and cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes, or until the bacon is golden and crispy and the rosemary leaves are lightly browned.

Drain the bacon and rosemary on a paper towel. Remove the rosemary leaves from the stems and roughly chop the leaves, discarding the stems. Set the rosemary aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon bacon grease from the stockpot. Set the bacon chips aside while you make the pumpkin soup.

Add the butter, onion, and garlic to the bacon grease in the stockpot and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Stir often to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the mashed pumpkin and the chicken stock, and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream just before you serve; do not let the soup boil once the cream has been added.

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

To make the parmesan croutons, toss the bread, olive oil, cheese, chili flakes, and black pepper together in a large bowl. Spread the bread mixture onto a sheet pan and bake 5 to 6 minutes, or until the bread cubes are golden brown.
Serve the soup in warm bowls topped with croutons, bacon chips, and the chopped rosemary.

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 Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent by Jennifer Hill Booker, © 2014

Jennifer Hill Booker, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.

Collard Green Salad w/ Apple Cider Vinaigrette. Yum!

~Enjoy this Georgia Grown ‘ Pick Keep Cook’ crop in a Fresh New Way~

collard_green_salad

Collard Greens Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

recipe by: Chef Jennifer Booker
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1 bunch collard greens, washed
1/2 cup Pecan oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 small onion, sliced
3 cloves raw garlic, minced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. black pepper
Method:

De-stem and chop the collard greens into long strips. Place strips in a large bowl. Pour Pecan oil on collard strips and sprinkle on salt. Massage the oil and salt into the strips with your hands until all pieces are well coated. Whisk together apple cider vinegar, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and ground pepper. Pour apple cider vinegar dressing over the collard green strips. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours, but overnight is best. Serve chilled or room temperature.

 

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Forget Viagra! Eat a Beet

Chef Jennifer Booker Cookbook

Now that I have your attention . . . here are 6 Great Health Benefits of Eating Beets!

1. Beets are nature’s Viagra
Seriously. One of the first known uses of beets was by the ancient Romans, who used them medicinally as an aphrodisiac. And that’s not just urban legend – science backs it up. Beets contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones.

2. Beets are high in many vitamins and minerals
Potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A, B & C; beta-carotene, beta-cyanine; folic acid. These are but a few of the many nutrients, vitamins and minerals that can be found in beets and beet greens. Beets are particularly beneficial to women whom are pregnant, as the vitamin B and iron are very beneficial to new growth cells during pregnancy and replenishing iron in the woman’s body.

3. Beets cleanse the body
They are a wonderful tonic for the liver, works as a purifier for the blood, and can prevent various forms of cancer. Nuff said, right? Tastes good and prevents cancer? Sign me up!

4. Beets help your mental health
Beets contain betaine, the same substance that is used in certain treatments of depression. It also contains trytophan, which relaxes the mind and creates a sense of well-being, similar to chocolate. Beets can also lower your blood pressure. So if you’re already steamed about not eating beets, you can get a two-fer by diving into them right away.

5. Beets are used as a stomach acid tester
How in the world does that work? Glad you asked. If you are eating a lot of beets or beet juice, and your pee turns pink, guess what? You have low stomach acid. Pee still clear? Ratchet it up and get juicing (use the greens too)! Nutritionists use beets and beet juice to test stomach acid levels, so stay ahead of the curve by adding beets to your diet now.

6. Beets are a high source of energy
At the same time they are low in calories and high in sugar (although the sugar is released into your system gradually, as opposed to chocolate). Very few foods found in the natural world are as beneficial as beets in this regard.

Beets are a wonderful addition to any dietary need. With their high volume of nutrients, delicious taste, and multitude of uses, anyone can jump right into beets without missing a beat.

Looking for a Delicious Beet Recipe? Pick up a copy of Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent, at YourResidentGourmet.net

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photo credit Deborah Whitlaw Llewllyn

Join Chef Jennifer @ Strippaggio Book Signing!

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~Book Signing~

Join Chef Jennifer Booker as she signs her debut cookbook:
Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent

Thursday, January 29th, 2015 6pm

Strippaggio – Artisan Oils, Vinegars, Specialty Food & Gifts

855 Emory Point Dr, Suite C-135, Atlanta, Georgia 30329
Strippaggio

Georgia Honey Rocks!!

Georgia Honey:  Nature’s Energy Booster

Honey combThe benefits of honey go beyond its great taste. A great natural source of carbohydrates which provide strength and energy to our bodies, honey is known for its effectiveness in instantly boosting the performance, endurance and reduce muscle fatigue of athletes. Its natural sugars play an important role in preventing fatigue during exercise. The glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly and gives an immediate energy boost, while the fructose is absorbed more slowly providing sustained energy. It is known that honey has also been found to keep levels of blood sugar fairly constant compared to other types of sugar.

Try this Delicious recipe featuring Georgia Honey, Yum!!

Honey & Lime Chicken Strips

Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

4 servings

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Georgia honey

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 jalapeño, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons Pecan oil

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice + 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons grated lime zest + 1 teaspoon grated lime zest

12 chicken tenders or 2 large chicken breasts, cut into strips

1 tablespoon Georgia honey

 

Lime wedges, for serving

 

Directions:

Preheat the electric grill to 400*F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, ginger, jalapeño, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, Pecan oil, 2 teaspoons of lime juice, and lime zest.

Add the chicken to the bowl and toss to coat.

In a small bowl, mix the honey with the remaining lime juice and lime zest. Set aside.

Add the chicken to the grill and cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes; turning after 3 minutes. The chicken’s internal temperature such reach 165*F.

Remove the chicken from the grill and drizzle with the lime honey.

Serve the chicken with fresh lime wedges.

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