Autumn Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup
This Autumn Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup combines classic fall ingredients in a savory and sweet, healthy meal. Former chef and mom of two, Jennifer Segal, is the blogger behind Once Upon A Chef and author of a book, also called Once Upon a Chef, full of family-friendly recipes like this one. “The recipes reflect my life: as a mom, I need easy meals the whole family will enjoy but the chef in me needs to eat too!” says Jennifer. She adds that this soup can easily be made vegetarian-friendly by swapping the chicken stock for vegetable broth. “The soup would pair nicely with these buttermilk biscuits or cornbread muffins and a simple green salad like this one,” says Jennifer.
Autumn Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup
Total Time: 45 Minutes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder, plus a bit more for serving
1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 small), peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
8 cups chicken broth, best quality such as Swanson
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
1 tart yet sweet apple (such as Honeycrisp or Fuji), peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons honey
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Do not brown. Add the curry powder and cook a minute more.
Add the carrots, sweet potatoes, chicken broth and salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the apples and honey. Using a stick blender, puree the soup until smooth and creamy. (Alternatively, cool the soup slightly, then puree in a blender in batches. Be sure to leave the hole in the lid open, and cover with a kitchen towel, to allow the steam to escape.) Season to taste with salt, pepper and more honey if necessary. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with more curry powder if desired. (Note: As the soup sits, it will thicken up so you may need to add a bit of water to thin it out.)
Beef Stew with Carrots and Potatoes
Total Time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes
INGREDIENTS By Jennifer Segal
3 pounds boneless beef chuck (well-marbled), cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1-inch chunks
7 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups dry red wine
2 cups beef broth
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks on a diagonal
1 pound small white boiling potatoes (baby yukons), cut in half
Fresh chopped parsley, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325°F and set a rack in the lower middle position.
Pat the beef dry and season with the salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Brown the meat in 3 batches, turning with tongs, for about 5 minutes per batch; add one tablespoon more oil for each batch. (To sear the meat properly, do not crowd the pan and let the meat develop a nice brown crust before turning with tongs.) Transfer the meat to a large plate and set aside.
Add the onions, garlic and balsamic vinegar; cook, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping the brown bits from bottom of the pan, for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute more. Add the beef with its juices back to the pan and sprinkle with the flour. Stir with wooden spoon until the flour is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine, beef broth, water, bay leaf, thyme, and sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid, transfer to the preheated oven, and braise for 2 hours.
Remove the pot from the oven and add the carrots and potatoes. Cover and place back in oven for about an hour more, or until the vegetables are cooked, the broth is thickened, and the meat is tender. Fish out the bay leaf and discard, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve the stew warm — or let it come to room temperature and then store in the refrigerator overnight or until ready to serve. This stew improves in flavor if made at least 1 day ahead. Reheat, covered, over medium heat or in a 350°F oven. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The stew can be frozen for up to 3 months. Just omit the potatoes because they don’t freeze well. If you’d like, boil some potatoes separately when you defrost the stew and either add them into the stew or serve them on the side. Before serving, defrost the stew in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat until hot
Per serving (6 servings)
Apple Chicken Stew
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1-1/2 pounds potatoes (about 4 medium), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 4 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 medium red onion, halved and sliced
- 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large tart apple, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1-1/4 cups apple cider or juice
- Minced fresh parsley
- Mix first 4 ingredients. In a 5-qt. slow cooker, layer vegetables; sprinkle with half the salt mixture.
- Toss chicken with oil and remaining salt mixture. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown chicken in batches. Add to slow cooker. Top with bay leaf and apple. Add vinegar and cider.
- Cook, covered, on high 3 to 3-1/2 hours, until chicken is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf. Stir before serving. Sprinkle with parsley.
1 cup: 284 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 63mg cholesterol, 533mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 4g fiber), 26g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 1 fat.
fall harvest honeycrisp apple and kale salad
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. On the prepared baking sheet, toss together the pepitas, olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Arrange in a single layer. Lay the prosciutto flat around the pepitas. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the pepitas are toasted and the prosciutto is crisp.
3. Meanwhile, in a large salad bowl, combine the kale, apples, and pomegranates.
4. To make the vinaigrette. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the shallots, cook until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly. Add the apple cider vinegar, fig preserves, and thyme. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
5. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, tossing to combine. Top the salad with toasted pepitas, prosciutto, and feta. Eat and enjoy!
pumpkin beer pretzels with chipotle queso.
Soft buttery pretzels dipped in a creamy cheddar cheese sauce
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 cup pumpkin beer or any beer you love
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup baking soda for boiling the pretzels
- 1 egg beaten, for brushing before baking
- coarse sea salt or pretzel salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 chipotle peppers adobo finely minced
- Add the beer, melted butter, salt and all-purpose flour to the mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands. Coat a large bowl with canola oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size. This will take about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope. To shape into pretzels, take the right side and cross over to the left. Cross right to left again and flip up. Slowly add the baking soda to the boiling water. Boil the pretzels in the water solution, 1-2 at a time for 30 seconds, splashing the tops with the warmed water using a spoon. Remove with a large flat slotted spatula or a spider. Place 4 pretzels on each baking sheet, brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with sea salt. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until pretzels are golden brown.
- Meanwhile, make the queso. Add the butter to a large skillet to melt. Add the cream cheese and milk. Cook over medium heat until the sauce is smooth and the cream cheese has melted. In a bowl, toss together the shredded cheddar with the flour. Little by little, add the cheddar to the warm milk, whisking until the sauce is smooth. Stir in the chipotle peppers. Keep the queso warm over warm heat. Serve along side the warm pretzels for dipping. EAT!
Pumpkin coffee cake muffins with cinnamon honey butter
Moist pumpkin muffins stuffed with cream cheese, topped with crumbly streusel, and served warm. Perfect for all of the autumn weekends ahead, and best eaten just out of the oven with a generous smear of cinnamon honey butter. So GOOD!
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 16 muffin tins with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the pumpkin and milk, beat until smooth and creamy. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Mix on low-speed until just combined, being sure the batter is completely mixed.
3. To make the streusel. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add the butter and use your fingers to mix the butter into the flour until a crumble forms.
4. Divide the batter among the prepared pan. Push 1 cube of cream cheese into each muffin. Evenly sprinkle the streusel over the batter. Transfer to the oven bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
5. Meanwhile, make the cinnamon butter. In a small bowl, combine the butter, honey, and cinnamon.
6. Serve the muffins warm or at room temperature smeared with cinnamon butter. Enjoy!
To Make Gluten Free: Use an equal amount of your favorite gluten free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour. I recommend Cup4Cup gluten free flour.
milk chocolate stuffed jack-o’-lantern cookies
- 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) salted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces milk chocolate, melted
CINNAMON SUGAR COATING
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until evenly combined. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt, beat until combined and the dough forms a ball.
2. Generously flour your work surface. Divide the dough in half and flatten each half into a disk. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Make sure you’re using enough flour or your dough will stick. Cut out the cookies using a pumpkin cookie cutter. Carefully transfer the cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut eyes and a mouth in half the cookies using a pairing knife or cookie cutter. Cover the baking sheet and place the sheet in the freezer, freeze until firm, about 15-20 minutes. Roll out the leftover scraps, and repeat with the remaining disk of dough.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the cookies on the middle rack of the oven for 8-12 minutes (for soft cookies) or until just lightly golden brown. Do not over bake. Cool on the baking sheet five minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
4, Add the butter to medium pot. Allow the butter to slightly brown until it smells toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Stir often. Remove from the heat and let cool 5 minutes. Brush the butter over the top half of the cookies and then sprinkle the cookies with cinnamon sugar.
5. To assemble, spread the melted milk chocolate over the half of the cookies with no face. Place the top pumpkin faced cookies over the chocolate, gently pressing to adhere. Cookies can be served immediately or let the chocolate firm up and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
*I recommend these cookie cutters.
*If you don’t have a pumpkin cookie cutter, just simple cut out 3 inch circles and use a sharp pairing knife to make the eyes and mouth.