All things pumpkin...

It is pumpkin season, and this year, I found myself wading into the pumpkin patch so to speak. 

Pumpkin is so versatile and with so many varieties other than what we use for Halloween decorations...  I couldn't seem to resist the  shapes, colours and all those potential tastes, both sweet and savoury.

One beautiful blue pumpkin made a silky soup with ginger, coconut and lime.  The blue hubbard I roasted and made several gorgeous pumpkin pies (as promised to the farmer I got it from). Another blue pumpkin went into soup again, but this time with Thai green curry and a little orange pie pumpkin.  That blue pumpkin was so generous that I will be cooking some up with garlic for dinner tonight - Trinidadian style.  The Japanese Kuri was a pretty little orange thing and I'm still dreaming about what to make with the gorgeous Chirimen Kabocha pumpkin I have.  

After tempting you with all those delicious pumpkin thoughts, I should share a soup recipe that is bound to please.  It's so simple to whip up and it will comfort and satisfy on a crisp fall day.  You don't need much of anything special in the house - other than a pumpkin or winter squash! The red lentils add a heartiness and protein that really make this satisfying and curried pumpkin seeds are so good, they may not make it onto the soup. 



Pumpkin or Squash Soup with Curried Pumpkin seeds.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes 8 servings

1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive or coconut oil
1 cooking onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
6 cups (3 L) peeled and cubed butternut squash or pumpkin
1 large apple, peeled, cored and cubed
1/2 cup (125 mL) red lentils
6 cups (1.5 L) water or vegetable stock
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste

Place a soup pot over medium heat.
Once pot is warm add oil, then onion, garlic and carrot.
Sweat (cook without adding colour) until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
Add squash or pumpkin and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
Add apple, lentils, water or stock and salt, cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 20 - 30 minutes.
Once cooked, remove from heat.
Blend soup, either using an immersion blender, or in a blender – processing in batches.
Add lemon juice to taste

Serve garnished with curried toasted pumpkin seeds.

Curried Toasted Pumpkin Seeds 

Remove seeds from squash or pumpkin when cleaning and soak in warm water.
Rub seeds to remove squash from them, then place on a dry towel and pat dry.
Place seeds on baking sheet.
Toss seeds with 1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil and 1 tsp (5 mL) curry powder.
Toast in oven approximately 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.
Remove from oven, sprinkle a pinch of salt over seeds and cool on baking sheet.




September 28-30 Yoga Retreat 

Relax, renew and refresh.  The fall is here and things have been gearing up.  Get yourself ready for the cooler fall days with a refreshing yoga weekend and seasonal vegetarian food.  The weekend includes a cooking demonstration, meals and recipes to take home.  Sit back and watch, then indulge in the freshest the season has to offer.  Join us in the hills!  It's the perfect fall retreat.


August 17-19, 2012 Yoga Retreat Featuring Market Fresh - Cooking with the Seasons

Spend a relaxing week-end nestled in nature, practicing hatha yoga and indulging in fresh local fare.

Join Jeanne Armstrong, certified Yoga instructor in classes that will calm your mind and energize you.  Then let me be your guide to the freshest of the season's vegetarian fare.  Sit back and watch how to prepare the dishes, indulge in the healthy yet indulgent and delicious fare and take the recipes home to prepare yourself. 

It is a weekend designed to refresh and renew, in an idyllic setting.  Spots are limited.  Go to for more details and for contact information to reserve your spot.


Cooking With The Seasons

The growing season in Ontario is not long, but we look forward to it every year.  Come take full advantage of what is market fresh with me during a weekend getaway in an idyllic setting at 189 Stone Hill Road. 

Market Fresh - Cooking with the Seasons July 6-8, 2012

Let me be your guide to the season's freshest foods and show you how to prepare them simply and beautifully. 

Friday: welcome reception 7:00 P.M.
Saturday:  Spend the day at your leisure. Featured cooking event 5:00 P.M. cooking demonstration & dinner.
Sunday:  hearty mid-morning brunch

$150 per person + HST includes all meals and refreshments.

Accommodation is additional - but rooms can be shared.  Bring a friend!
Visit for more information and details on the venue.


Cocktail Tomatoes with Avocado "Cream"

This is a lovely little treat to put on your appetizer tray.  The avocado "cream" is completely vegan!  Use the natural gorgeous texture and satifying healthy fats of avocado to put some creaminess into your bite sized treats without the cream or the guilt.  Added bonus - it's gorgeous!