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I was so excited when I was contacted to participate in LongHorn Steakhouses’s Fall Into Flavor challenge. My kiddos and I headed to our closest LongHorn restaurant and tried out their Peak Season items! Our most favorite dishes were the Mushroom Truffle Bisque and the Sirloin Bleu Ridge Wedge Salad. I highly recommend going and enjoying these delicious meals this fall!
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Now onto the Challenge!I was to challenged to create a recipe using any of the following ingredients:
Instantly I wanted to come up with a pumpkin soup recipe but wanted to involve my readers and allow them a chance to give some feedback on what they would like to see created. I was thrilled when pumpkin soup won! I had one reader suggest creating a mushroom bruschetta to go along with the soup. I was literally salivating while the gears in my brain were going full speed thinking of recipe creations.
I decided to create a pumpkin soup that would be topped with sausage, cranberries and apples and pair it with mushroom sausage bruschetta. My inspiration came from a family vacation a few years ago to Colonial Williamsburg, VA. On that trip we had purchased a Holiday Themed cookbook and recreated a whole Colonial Williamsburg Thanksgiving that year. One of the recipes was a braided bread that had sausage, sweet potatoes and cranberries in it. I was convinced that this flavors needed to be married with a pumpkin soup!
My kiddos and I got busy creating and this is what we came up with! We shared our recipe with LongHorn’s Executive Chef, Michael Senich and he loved the combinations and even said that he was “going to rip me off and use this as part of his Thanksgiving dinner” – yay!! How awesome is that? A professional chef excited about a recipe my kids and I created!! I would be honored if he tried my recipe!
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 ribs of celery
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1 dash of hot sauce (optional)
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 (28-ounce) can cooked pumpkin puree
- 1 cup half & half
- 1 cup heavy cream
- sausage, browned
- dried cranberries
- 1 apple diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- In a dutch oven over medium heat add EVOO and melt the butter.
- Add bay leaves, celery, and onion and season with salt & pepper. Cook until onion is translucent.
- Add flour, Old Bay and hot sauce (optional) whisking the entire time.
- Whisk in chicken stock and bring to a bubble.
- Slowly whisk in pumpkin puree.
- Simmer soup 10 minutes, or until it thickens to desired consistency.
- Add half & half and heavy cream.
- Using an immersion blender blend the soup to minimize chunks of onion and celery.
- Brown sausage in a pan.
- Add dried cranberries, diced onion and diced apple. Cook until apple is soft.
- Serve overtop of the pumpkin soup
My entire family approved of these recipes – yes! even the kids! That right there is a winning recipe to me! My husband, who is not a fan of pumpkin nor soup even loved the recipe and asked that I make it for Thanksgiving this year, no joke! He loved the fact that it had a sausage topping. The sweet flavors of the pumpkin combined with the salty flavors of the sausage created the perfect combination!
My entire family had so much fun with this recipe challenge and are looking forward to this being on our Thanksgiving menu. We are all about breaking the norm and indulging in “non-traditional Thanksgiving recipes”. How about you? What is on your menu for Thanksgiving? Are you daring enough to break the norm?!?
Extra Tip: Are you hosting Thanksgiving? Here’s a great printable to help you get all organized!