This year, we didn't plan a huge family get-together nor did we have any fancy dinners to attend, but I still wanted to have something that reminded me of the season. I decided to attempt a pumpkin soup. I've never made one before, but after some searching, I found a few recipes (even one from Martha) and decided to use them as a base point and go from there. I mostly followed this recipe from Tasty Kitchen. I did a few things differently. I didn't include any celery (we're not huge celery fans), I added more chicken broth (I thought it was a bit too thick for my liking), I added some garlic (duh!), and I added honey to taste (I felt like it needed something, and I already know from experience that honey can really bring out the flavour of a dish). I served it with some chopped turkey bacon and some home-made cranberry sauce on top. It was so delicious! I've even had some for breakfast this morning! The rest I've frozen for later, so we'll see how it fares after that. I don't think it's going to last long in the freezer, though! I might eat it by next week!
I've also been going through boxes of books and personal items I've had in storage for almost 8 years. During this tedious task of deciding what to keep and what to give away, I discovered my gram's tomato soup cake recipe! I was pretty excited, I have to tell you. Everything about that cake reminds me of autumn, so I was pretty determined to make that for dessert (usually I'm all about the pumpkin pie). It was just as easy and delicious as I remembered! And as strange as it sounds to put tomato soup in a cake, it really turns out being more like a spice cake than something strange and tomato-tasting. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd give you the recipe. It's super easy and well worth the nay-sayers -- and yes, there will be some of those. I had to deal with Idle Husband's scrunched up nose and tomato soup cake!? exclamation, so you should have to, too.
Gram's Tomato Soup Cake
1 can tomato soup (284 ml)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup margarine/crisco/butter/shortening (whatever you prefer)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup walnuts or other nuts (also optional)
Preheat oven to 375. Combine tomato soup and baking soda in a small bowl. In a seperate mixing bowl, cream shortening. Add sugar and egg until nice and light. Add the tomato soup mixture. Mix flour, salt, and spices then add them to your wet ingredients. Stir in raisins and walnuts if using. Bake in a greased 8" pan (or two round cake pans -- like I used to get a layer effect) for 30-45 mins (depending on your oven and pan choice) or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
I used a maple cream cheese frosting for the top and middle. Pretty basic, really. I like it a lot with cream cheese, that makes sense to me, but you can leave it plain or ice it with a glaze or whatever else you feel would be good. Here's the frosting recipe in case you don't want to go through the hassel of googling it ; )
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package Cream cheese (I used the lite version)
1/4 cup butter
1 cup icing sugar
1 tblsp maple extract (or 2 tblsps/to taste pure maple syrup or any other type of extract you love)
Blend cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add sugar. Blend some more. Add extract. Blend again! Use however you see fit (I thought about eating it straight out of the bowl, but somehow managed to restrain myself)