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Ahhhhh Thanksgiving…one of my favorite holidays. Really, I do love them all. But each in their own time.

As we head into Thanksgiving week, the Christmas commercials on TV are getting more and more challenging for me to ignore. The stores are already stocked, decorated, and some are even playing Christmas music. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas as much as anybody, but this year I have made a pledge to Respect the Bird.

I am choosing to live in the moment.

I am choosing to stuff myself with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and pie! I am choosing to make soup with the leftover turkey carcass. I am choosing to take naps, go shopping, watch football, do some reading in front of a roaring fire.

And most importantly, I am choosing to spend time with my family. I am thankful for all that I have, but mostly I am thankful for my loved ones.

I am choosing to give thanks.

And I intend to savor it all to the fullest….before I celebrate Christmas.

If you would like to take the pledge to Respect the Bird too, you can join the movement here.

I’m pretty sure that there is no other holiday that comes close to being the iconic food holiday that is Thanksgiving. Allrecipes.com is sponsoring the Respect the Bird movement this year and they provide a complete Thanksgiving cooking guide on their site to help you prepare your entire bird-centric meal or even just a pie to take to Grandma’s.

In my opinion there is nothing more comforting than a nice, creamy bowl of hot soup. If you have a vegetarian or gluten-free person at your table this year here is a little side dish recipe that is sure to satisfy them. It would also make a pleasing simple supper the night before Thanksgiving when you need something easy and delicious 🙂

How are going to Respect the Bird this year?

Fresh Pumpkin Soup

  • 1-2 sugar pumpkins (or 6 cups of pureed pumpkin) 
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups carrot chopped
  • 1/2 large sweet onion diced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 TBS fresh minced ginger
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • 1 quart half and half
  • 2 TBS honey
  • sour cream for garnish
  • roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish

Cut clean sugar pumpkin into wedges, remove seeds (save for roasting to garnish the soup), rub slices with olive oil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Scoop out the pulp and discard the rind.

Spread seeds into single layer on baking sheet and sprinkle generously with salt. Bake for 30 mins to 1 hour at 325 degrees, tossing frequently until crispy and brown.

Saute the onion and garlic in butter until soft.

Steam carrots until tender.

Combine pumpkin, carrots, onion, garlic and ginger then puree in batches using a food processor or blender until creamy. You can add some of the half and half as you do this to make the process easier.

Combine all ingredients into a stock pot and simmer for one half hour until flavors come together. Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds.