Pumpkin Wild Rice Soup

What a busy Monday!  I had class from 11 to 5 today, then worked on a PowerPoint presentation for an Environmental Assessment class.  Wish me luck on presenting tomorrow!  From being so busy today, it was very nice to have a soup on the crockpot today.  This is a new rendition on my Pumpkin Basil Soup I made earlier this month, but a bit heartier and with more dynamic flavors and ingredients.  

Pumpkin Wild Rice Soup
1 1/2 c carrots, peeled and chopped
1 c apples, chopped
1/2 to 1 c mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 c cauliflower, roughly chopped into florets
1 handful fresh basil leaves
6 c vegetable broth
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed, separate
1 c dried wild rice, +2 c water, precooked on stovetop
1 t salt
1 t ground pepper
1 t cumin
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t cayenne pepper

Directions:  In a crockpot, combine roasted pumpkin, carrots, apples, mushrooms, cauliflower, basil, vegetable broth, and 1 can of white beans (save the other can for after soup is done cooking).  Cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3.  One hour before soup is done, prepare the wild rice with 2 cups of water on a stovetop.  In a blender, or with an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth and creamy.  Add pureed soup back into the crockpot and (optional) remove 6 cups of soup, save for another recipe or to have as a puree only soup.  Add the wild rice and last can of white beans to the soup.  Cook on high for 20 minutes.  Serve in large bowls with a small amount of cheese garnish and basil sprig.  Enjoy!

Amy's Notes:  Nearing the end of the recipe, when I reloaded the pureed soup back into the crockpot, I decided I wanted to save some of the soup as a sauce for pasta that I'll freeze and use another week.  If you want your soup to be more liquidy than thick, do not take out the extra soup like I did.  I found that I wanted to add more salt and pepper to my soup after I served it, but remember that salt is better tasted when applied directly to the served meal, and not mixed into a large soup.  

This was a lovely, warm, hearty soup that was perfect on a day like this in Pullman (it was cold, cloudy, and extremely windy!).  From writing and blogging about cooking and eating, I have noticed so much more that the weather and season in general influences what I like to eat.  November should be the month of warm yummy soups.

How does the weather affect what you crave and what foods you end up making?

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