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Hearty Pumpkin Soup

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Mary
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Sunday, December 15, 2002 1:11 AM
  Subject: recipe request

  I would like to make a thick, hearty, zesty pumpkin soup for 
  my family's holiday meal.  The best-tasting version I've ever 
  had was this year at Au Bon Pain retaurant at Brigham & Women's 
  Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.  I would love to have that 
  recipe.  Can you help?
  Thank you very much, and please have a safe holiday.

Hello Mary,

Well, the first thing that I found was that there are no recipes from Au Bon Pain online at all... However, there are quite a few hearty pumpkin soup recipes to be had. See below.


Hey, Uncle Phaedrus.

I have been looking for a recipe for Au Bon Pain Pumpkin Soup ever
since the one and only time I ate it in Providence, RI.  Luckily, Au
Bon Pain has put up a recipe on YouTube:
Au bon Pain Pumpkin Soup

I haven't tried it yet to see if it tastes like the real thing, but
I'm definitely going to give it a try.

  Harvest Pumpkin Soup II 

  1 pumpkin - (approx 3 lbs) 
  (or 2 1/2 cups canned pumpkin) 
  1 potato; peeled, chopped 
  2 leeks, white portion only; sliced 
  (or 1/3 cup sliced green onions, white part only) 
  2 tablespoons butter 
  1 tablespoon curry powder 
  salt; to taste 
  freshly-ground black pepper; to taste 
  14 1/2 ounces chicken stock 
  4 cups milk 
  1/2 cup unsweetened heavy cream; softly whipped (or use sour cream) 

  For fresh pumpkin, cut in half and remove seeds. Bake in greased 
  pan, cut-side down, 40 to 50 minutes at 375 degrees until tender. 
  Scrape pulp from shell and reserve. Saute potato and leeks in 
  butter until soft; add seasonings, chicken stock, pumpkin, and 
  milk. Simmer 25 minutes, then puree in small batches in blender 
  or processor. Garnish each serving with cream. This recipe yields 
  6 servings. A hearty, stick-to-the-ribs vegetable soup. 
  Harvest Pumpkin Soup

  Yields: 14 Cups, For 12 Servings 


  1 tablespoon canola oil 
  2 onions, chopped 
  2 large carrots, peeled and chopped 
  2 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes 
  1 cup dry sherry 
  8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, defatted 
  6 cups cubed fresh pumpkin or butternut squash (3 pounds) 
  1 cinnamon stick 
  1 bay leaf 
  1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt 
  1/4 cup chopped pistachios 
  Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste 
  In an 8-quart soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, 
  carrots and potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally until tender 
  not not browned, 10 to 15 minutes. (Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water 
  if needed to prevent scorching.) Add sherry and cook until liquid 
  evaporates, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, pumpkin (or squash), 
  cinnamon stick, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat 
  and simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 35 to 45 minutes. 
  Remove bay leaf and cinnamon stick. 

  In a blender or food processor, puree vegeable mixture in 4 batches. 
  Return to pot and warm over low heat. Add nutmeg and season with salt 
  and pepper. (The soup will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up 
  to 2 days. Reheat before serving.) 

  Ladle soup into warmed bowls; garnish with a swirl of yogurt and 
  sprinkling of pistachios.

  Nutrition information: 110 calories per serving: 3 grams protein, 
  2 grams fat (0.3 gram sturated fat), 15 grams carbohydrate; 
  390 mg sodium; 4 mg cholesterol; 2 grams fiber.
  Harvest Pumpkin Soup

  2 small sugar pumpkins 
  3 cups chicken stock 
  3/4 cup heavy whipping cream 
  1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  1/2 teaspoon ground sage 
  1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
  4 tablespoons sour cream 
  1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Cut pumpkins 
  in half and scoop out seeds. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick 
  cooking spray. Place pumpkins, flesh side down on the cookie sheet 
  and roast until soft to the touch, about 45 minutes. Remove pumpkins 
  from oven and let cool. Once pumpkins are cool scrape flesh from 
  skins into a food processor. Discard skins. 
  2 Add chicken stock to the pumpkin and puree. Pour soup into a 
  large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in 
  cream, nutmeg, sage and salt. Mix well and remove from heat. 
  Serve garnished with a dollop of sour cream 
   Makes 4 servings 
  Pumpkin Soup 

  4 pounds fresh pumpkin flesh, pared, seeded and chopped, with stringy flesh removed 
  2 teaspoons salt 
  2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  2 cups chopped yellow onions 
  3 bay leaves 
  1/2 teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground 
  2 teaspoons sugar 
  8 cups chicken broth 
  4 cups water 
  2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter 
  1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 
  1/8 teaspoon ground allspice 

  Put chopped pumpkin in large saucepan. Cover with water and add 
  1 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil and cook until fork-tender, about 
  15 minutes. Drain and cool, then mash. (There should be about 4 cups.) 

  In large heavy pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. 
  Add onions, bay leaves, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, white pepper and 
  sugar. Cook, stirring until onions are soft and lightly golden, about 
  10 minutes. 

  Add chicken broth, water, pumpkin puree and peanut butter. Stir to mix. 
  Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until mixture 
  coats spoon, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. (Watch soup carefully or it 
  will scorch if the heat is too high.) 

  Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Remove from heat; discard bay 
  leaves and serve hot in soup bowls. 
  Autumn Pumpkin Soup

  1 tablespoon sweet butter
  1 tablespoon flour
  2 1/2 cups chicken broth (plus another 1/2 cup if you like it soupier)
  1 cup whole milk
  3 cups unflavored canned pumpkin
  1 tablespoon brown sugar
  1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  1/8 teaspoon white pepper

  Homemade croutons for garnish

  In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over a medium flame until bubbly. 
  Whisk in the flour until well blended and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. 
  Slowly add 2 1/2 to 3 cups of chicken broth, stirring constantly, then 
  the milk. Add canned pumpkin and continue to stir over medium heat. 
  Add remaining ingredients and stir to blend. Serve immediately, with a 
  few croutons floating on top. 
  Autumn Pumpkin Soup      
  1/4 c. butter
  1/4 c. diced onion
  1/4 c. diced green peppers
  2 c. mashed, cooked pumpkin (1- can)
  1 c. diced tomato
  1 tsp. fresh parsley
  1 tsp. dried marjoram
  1/2 tsp. salt
  1/4 tsp. black pepper
  3 c. milk

  In large pan melt butter and saute onions and green peppers until onions 
  begin to turn golden. Add all other ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.
  Hearty Pumpkin Soup
  Prep: 15 min, Cook: 50 min.
  1-3/4 lbs. pumpkin or squash, seeded, peeled and diced
  1 onion, chopped
  2 ounces long grain brown rice
  1 lb. carrots, sliced lengthwise
  1 quart plus 1 cup vegetable stock, boiling
  1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  1 stick cinnamon, halved
  1/4 tsp. allspice
  1/4 lb. frozen peas
  1 orange
  Place all ingredients, except peas and orange, in a heavy saucepan over 
  medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. 
  Reduce heat to low and simmer about 45 minutes, or until rice is soft. 
  Add peas and cook another 5 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick. Cut 4 thin 
  slices from the center of the orange for garnish. Grate the rest of the 
  rind and squeeze out the juice. Stir the grated rind and juice into the 
  soup. Serve in individual soup bowls, garnished with a twisted orange 

  Per serving: calories 241, fat 2.2g, 8% calories from fat, 
  cholesterol 0mg, protein 7.3g, carbohydrates 52.4g, fiber 13.1g, 
  sugar 18.5g, sodium 454mg, diet points 2.9.

  Dietary Exchanges: Milk: 0.0, Vegetable: 3.1, Fruit: 0.3, Bread: 2.0, 
  Lean meat: 0.0, Fat: 0.0, Sugar: 0.0, Very lean meat protein: 0.0 


 ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Roas
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Monday, December 16, 2002 12:52 PM
  Subject: re: RISSOIS

  Are there any other fillings for RISSOIS( a sort of portuguese 
  turnover) other than shrimp? Could you also give me recipes for 
  the pastry

Hello Rosa,

Yes, they can be stuffed with chicken, rabbit, or cod fish. See below.


  Rissóis de Camarão
  (Portuguese Shrimp Turnovers)
  by Ana Patuleia Ortins
  from Portuguese Homestyle Cooking
  (Interlink Books, 2001)
  Makes about 3 1/2 dozen

   These delectable Portuguese turnovers, can be served as an 
   appetizer, single course or snack. Although they're usually 
   made with shrimp, a filling of chicken or shredded poached 
   salt cod is tasty as well.

  These rissóis can be made ahead and frozen before frying (see 
  NOTE following recipe). When you have unexpected guests, just 
  take as many as you need from the freezer and fry them up. Make 
  them small or make them a bit larger, but make them. Serve with 
  your favorite wine.
  2 cups  milk 
  4 tablespoons  unsalted butter 
  1 teaspoon  salt 
  2 cups  all-purpose flour 
  2 tablespoons  unsalted butter 
  1/4 cup  finely chopped onion 
  1 cup  milk 
  1/2 tablespoon   finely chopped cilantro or parsley 
  1 to 2 teaspoons   hot-pepper sauce, or more to taste  
  1/2 teaspoon   coarse salt, or more to taste  
  1/2 teaspoon   freshly ground white pepper  
  1/4 teaspoon   nutmeg  
  2 tablespoons   cornstarch or flour  
  2 tablespoons   water  
  1/2 pound   shrimp, peeled, deveined, cooked, well drained, 
      and coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups) 
  3 large   eggs, beaten with 1/4 cup water for egg wash 
     Fine plain breadcrumbs 
     Olive oil or corn oil for frying 
  By the Book Method 
    Make The Pastry
  1. In a 2-quart saucepan, place the milk, butter, and salt. 
  Warm over medium-high heat until the milk is scalded, not boiling. 
  Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  2. Using a wooden spoon, vigorously stir the flour into the milk. 
  Keep stirring over medium-low heat until it forms a dough. When the 
  dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball, remove 
  the pan from the stove.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work space. Using a 
  plastic dough scraper or wooden spoon, turn the warm dough to knead 
  briefly until smooth and the dough slightly springs back when pressed 
  with your finger. (Don't overwork the dough.) Divide the dough in 
  half, forming two balls, and cover with an inverted bowl. Set aside 
  to cool to nearly room temperature. 

  Make The Filling
  1. Melt the butter in a 1-quart saucepan. Add the onion and sauté 
  over medium-high heat until lightly golden, about 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, pour in the milk, and heat to 
  scalding, not boiling. Stir in the cilantro or parsley, hot-pepper 
  sauce, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  3. Combine the cornstarch or flour with the water. Stir into the 
  milk and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until 
  it thickens, about 1 to 2 minutes. (Don't over cook or the 
  cornstarch will break down and the mixture will loosen.) Stir in 
  the chopped shrimp, heat through for 1 minute, and remove from heat. 
  Set aside to cool completely. 

  Assemble And Fry The Pastries
  1. Take half the dough and roll out to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 
  cutter that is 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter (smaller if making 
  appetizers for a party), cut disks of dough.
  2. Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the middle of a circle. Fold the 
  dough over to form a half circle, pressing the edges together. Set 
  aside on a sheet pan or tray lined with plastic wrap. Repeat until 
  all the filling is used.

  Cook The Pastries
  1. Dip the pastries in beaten egg, then quickly into the breadcrumbs, 
  shaking off any excess crumbs. Set aside. 
  2. Heat 2 or 3 inches of oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat 
  to a temperature of 350°F (180°C) or until a bit of the pastry 
  sizzles when slipped in. Fry the rissóis, two or three at a time, 
  until golden brown. Remove to paper towel to drain. Serve hot or at 
  room temperature.

  NOTE: To freeze: Line a sheet pan with plastic wrap and set the 
  pastries down in a single layer without overlapping. Cover well 
  with plastic wrap, smoothing out as much air as possible. Freeze. 
  They will keep for at least a month, but you most likely will use 
  them before that time.

  VARIATION: Substitute 1 1/2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken, 
  rabbit, or shredded poached salt cod for the shrimp. Stir briefly, 
  add 1 tablespoon finely chopped celery, stir, and assemble.

Lumpy Gravy

----- Original Message -----
From: Carolyn
To: phaedrus
Sent: Sunday, December 15, 2002 5:54 PM
Subject: Sure way to make Gravy w/o lumps

> Can you tell me a way to always make a smooth gravy, chicken, 
> roast beef, etc.
> Thanks
> Carolyn

Hello Carolyn,

When you thicken your gravy with cornstarch or flour, always make a paste first by mixing the flour with a little of the liquid (broth, wine, water, etc.) Then, use a whisk and whisk the paste briskly into the gravy. That way you won't get lumps.


Origin of Spritz Cookies

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Nicole 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Sunday, December 15, 2002 12:49 PM
  Subject: origins of spritz cookies

  Hi,  I am working on a project for a Global Studies class about 
  culture and foods.  I have been looking for the origin of Spritz 
  Cookies.  So far I've found that they are popular in Scandinavian 
  countries around Christmas time.  And, I've found tons of recipes 
  for them.  Do you have any more information on the history of these 
  cookies?  I would really appreciate any help you can give me. 
  Thank you! Thank You! Thank you!


Hello Nicole,

Well, the name "spritz" comes from "spritzen," which is German for "to squirt or spray." Spritz cookies are called that because they are made by dough being "pushed" or "squirted" from a cookie press.

Other than that, I could not find anything. There may not be much history to them. Since the name "spritz" is German, we might speculate that spritz cookies were brought to Scandinavia from Germany.


Massage Balm

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Trevor 
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Sunday, December 15, 2002 5:21 AM
  Subject: Re: MassageBalm

  Thank you for the reply. What I am trying to find and make is a massage cream 
  or lotion to sooth aching muscles that really warms them and makes the client 
  feel that there is heat in the trouble muscle. I have used tiger balm and 
  woodlock products but would like to be able to make my own from natural products 
  and to know what is has in it.

  I await your reply and once again thankyou for the time.

  Regards Trevor

Hello Trevor,

I still did not find a lot of information about homemade massage creams, but I did find the two below recipes. Hope this helps.


  Super Massage Cream: 

  1 oz. of coconut oil 
  1 oz. of turtle oil 
  1 dropper sweet clover oil 

  Mix all the ingredients together. This is an excellent cream, useful 
  for all sore and aching muscles. According to the therapist the author 
  consulted, this cream is superior to anything supplied by the hospital. 
  Aloe balm/massage cream recipe

  The following is good as a massage cream but is also great for soothing 
  sunburn, minor burns etc. and people with super dry skin like it as a 

  You can choose essential oils that are suitable for whatever you are 
  using it for. If it's for a face cream use 1% as below but if it for 
  therapeutic use such as backache you can increase the percentage to 3%. 
  Olive oil can be used instead of comfrey oil and can be increased to 
  3% to give more 'slip'.

  Remember that if you increase or decrease the percentages you have to 
  adjust the whole recipe accordingly 
Ingredients     Quantity     Percentage 
  Emulsifying wax 30 gm 9.52 
  Stearic acid 6 gm 1.90 
  Infused comfrey oil 24 ml 2.10 
  Aloe juice or herbal infusion 225 ml 71.81 
  Glycerine 24 ml 7.66 
  Grapefruit seed extract 3 ml 1.00 
  Essential oil 3 ml 1.00 

  Heat the wax, stearic acid and oil together to 65ºC. 
  Heat the juice or infusion, glycerine and GSE together to 70ºC. 
  Pour the water phase onto the oil phase (MOST important). 
  Stir in a figure of 8 until the temperature reached 40-45ºC 
  Drip in the essential oil and continue stirring until completely mixed. 
  Pour into jars. 


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