Pumpkin Sausage Kale Soup

Mom was looking for a recipe to finish up a can of pumpkin puree that she’d just taken a spoonful out of. We look for recipes to enhance not only our diet, but that of my younger sister who is on a very restrictive diet for medical reasons. While surfing around the internet, Mom found Denise Wright’s recipe (you can find the original here). She made a few changes, and we ended up with a great soup that would make a fantastic lunch but is also light enough for a late-night bowl of something before bedtime after working a long, late shift (Yes, I know. Oddly specific.). Here’s our version:

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings off. (we used a turkey sausage)
​15 oz. can of pure pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups baby kale, chopped (or spinach)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2-3 cups coconut milk, for preferred consistency
pinch of cayenne
1 Tablespoon butter

1. In a soup pot, add olive oil and brown sausage, breaking it into bite-sized pieces.

2. Add peppers, sea salt and pepper and sauté for a few minutes.

3. Add pumpkin, coconut milk, and greens (kale or spinach) and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

4. Stir in butter and cayenne to taste.

5. Enjoy.

We found that the cayenne intensifies as the soup sits, so the nearly imperceptible amount when we first tasted it was much more intense when I came in late and nuked a bowl for dinner. It’s something to keep in mind when adding the cayenne. Also, Mom isn’t much for the Middle Eastern spices, but I love Middle Eastern food, and I think this recipe would be incredible with some cumin, turmeric and ginger.

Paleo Apple Pumpkin Butter

I love pumpkin. No, I really love pumpkin. I am not one of those fall-weather pumpkin spice junkies who dress in brown and beige while running off to Starbucks at the drop of the first leaf and then forgets it exists when Peppermint Mochas hit the menu. And, no, I don’t think there should be pumpkin spice everything. Pumpkin is something I have no trouble eating year round, though I will admit that it tastes better in the fall.

So, imagine my joy when my friend from Maine, Barbara Coffin, posted that she was making pumpkin butter, and better yet, IT WAS PALEO!!!

The original recipe Barbara was using came from a publication called Young Living for Life and their unaltered recipe, which uses essential oils, can befound, unaltered, right here.

Anyone who knows me well knows I’m NOT into essential oils. I’m one of those people who point and laugh and make fun of those of you who are (No hard feelings. It’s just for my entertainment.). So, needless to say, I don’t exactly have oils laying around the house to use for yummy spreads. I didn’t call on Mom this time but adapted this recipe on my own. Here’s how I made it.

15 oz. (1 regular can) of pure pumpkin puree
15 oz. unsweetened applesauce (I literally just poured the applesauce into the empty pumpkin can and then poured it into the sauce pan.)
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1. Mix all ingredients in a medium sauce pan.

2. Bring simmer over medium heat and let simmer for 45-55 minutes, stirring occasionally. I lowered my heat to medium low (set the stovetop on 3 rather than 5) about 20 minutes in. It pops all over the place, so stand back when you’re not stirring.

3. When you can pull the spoon out of the mixture and nothing drips off, it’s done. Spoon into little jam jars and cool before putting the lids on. Keep refrigerated.

4. Enjoy.

I think this is my new favorite topping for my Paleo pancakes.