The Feasting Begins

Holly and Dave arrived this afternoon for the holiday. It is great to see them both, they haven’t been up to Maine in a while. We celebrated their arrival with a spicy Mexican meal, Chile Cheddar Pumpkin Souffles and Smoky Tortilla Soup with Shrimp.

Chile Cheddar Pumpkin Souffles

2 cups pumpkin puree
3 eggs, separated
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 oz. Cabot Habenero Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/8 t baking soda
2 t flour
finely pulverized breadcrumbs

Butter 6 individual souffle dishes or custard cups. Coat the bottom and sides with bread crumbs.

Mix the pumpkin, egg yolks, flour, salt and soda together. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir about 1/3 of the egg whites into the pumpkin mix to lighten, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

Divide batter among the souffle dishes. Bake at 350˚F for 15 minutes or until firm and lightly browned on the top.

Smoky Tortilla Soup with Shrimp

2 T olive oil
1 c finely diced onion
1 c finely diced carrot
1/2 c finely chopped celery
3 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t oregano
1/2 t cumin
7 c chicken broth
2 15 oz. cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 c canned crushed tomatoes with added puree
2 t minced canned chipotle chiles

1 lb uncooked small shrimp
1/4 c minced fresh cilantro

Lime wedges
Avocado wedges

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, cumin, and oregano. Sauté until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Add chicken broth, pinto beans, crushed tomatoes and chipotle chilies; bring to simmer. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add shrimp and cook until opaque in center, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Stir in chopped fresh cilantro. Serve soup, garnishing with avocado. Pass lime wedges and tortilla chips separately.

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