EATING LOCAL ALSO means eating in season, which in Maine provides great opportunity for a varied diet and also a challenge to figure out just what to do with the bounty (or perhaps, in late winter and early spring, the scarcity) that the local harvest provides. Here are some ideas to guide you through four seasons of eating what is ripest and most available all year long. In this first of four posts, we are featuring recipes that use produce from Maine; and many of the other ingredients—like dairy, honey, maple syrup, our, sun ower seeds, even sea salt—are also produced in Maine and can be found at your local farmers’ market, natural food store or co-op, if not direct from the farmer. Take on an extra challenge and see how “local” you can make your plate! Or simply savor the seasons and enjoy all that Maine farms—or your own backyard garden—have to offer.
Gingery pumpkin soup with crunchy dulse
There’s nothing like a good bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day, and the warming spices and bright colors in this soup will keep you toasty in the bleakest weather. Dulse is an awesome local super-food and a great way to get your vitamins and minerals when local greens are hard to come by in the winter.
- 2 cups (packed) roasted pumpkin or winter squash 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth (or water)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1-2 tsp ground turmeric
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 medium onion, peeled and minced (or one leek)
- 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil
- 1⁄2 cup milk or preferred alternative (coconut milk works well)
- salt & pepper to taste
- Optional: smoked paprika
Add one tablespoon butter/coconut oil to a stock pot and heat on medium. Add the ginger, onion and garlic and cook for 5-6 minutes until the onions are translucent, then stir in the turmeric. Pour in the broth or water, turn the heat to high, and bring it to a boil. Turn down the heat again, add the pumpkin, and stir thoroughly. Let everything simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or so to let the flavors meld.
Meanwhile, melt some butter or coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the dulse in one layer and sprinkle it with smoked paprika if desired (the dulse already has a smoky avor—the paprika will just amp it up!). The dulse will start to darken and stiffen. Use a spatula to atten it and encourage the curled-up edges to crisp. Flip if needed. Watch the pan carefully—it will go fast! The dulse will continue to crisp as it cools. Set aside.
Turn off the burner and add milk. Puree soup in the pot with a hand blender or blend in batches using a food processor. Add salt & pepper. Taste to adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls and crumble dulse on top.