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You Asked For It

For soup, pumpkin always in season

Published January 19, 2005

Carly McCormick was looking for a recipe for pumpkin soup. David Griswold has been making his version for years and says it is always a hit with family and friends.

Barbara Bernard had stuffed mushrooms at a wedding reception and wanted a recipe. Nelle Rellim has two favorites. One she found a couple of years ago in The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook. It's a recipe she makes often. The other was given to her by her husband's grandmother. When Nelle entertains she often makes both versions.

* * *

For: Carly McCormick of Largo.

From: David Griswold of Dunedin.

Recipe: Pumpkin Soup.

Pumpkin Soup

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 can stewed tomatoes

1 can pumpkin puree, unsweetened

4 cups canned chicken stock, warmed

Fresh grated nutmeg

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 scallions thinly sliced

In a heavy large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in thyme, stewed tomatoes and pumpkin puree and bring to a simmer.

Stir in warmed chicken stock and return to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.

In a blender, puree soup in three batches. It's more manageable this way and won't make a mess. Be careful because it is hot. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Stir in cream and return to simmer. Garnish with sliced scallions.

For: Barbara Bernard of Citrus Springs.

From: Nelle Rellim of Crystal Beach.

Recipe: Zucchini Stuffed Mushrooms from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook.

Zucchini Stuffed Mushrooms

3 1/4 cups shredded zucchini

1 teaspoon salt

30 large fresh mushrooms, about 2 pounds

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

1 clove garlic, minced

3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1/3 cup crushed saltine crackers

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 oil-packed dried tomatoes, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Combine zucchini and salt in colander; let stand 30 minutes.

Press zucchini between paper towels to remove excess moisture.

Clean mushrooms with damp paper towels. Remove stems and reserve for another use or discard. Brush mushroom caps with 3 tablespoons butter. Place on a rack in a broiler pan.

Saute garlic in remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add zucchini and cook 2 more minutes.

Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in ricotta cheese and remaining five ingredients.

Spoon mixture evenly into mushroom caps. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Makes 21/2 dozen.

For: Barbara Bernard of Citrus Springs.

From: Nelle Rellim of Crystal Beach.

Recipe: Stuffed Mushrooms.

Stuffed Mushrooms

24 large mushrooms

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 cup butter or margarine

16 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Melted butter

Remove and finely chop mushroom stems. In a medium skillet, saute chopped stems, parsley, green onions and thyme in the 1/2 cup butter. In a bowl, combine bacon, cream cheese and Cheddar cheese. Add the sauteed mixture and stir well.

Brush the mushroom caps on both sides with melted butter. Arrange mushrooms hollow-side up in an oven-proof dish. Fill mushroom caps. Broil 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Makes 24.

Recipe requests

With many readers making New Year's diet resolutions, numerous requests have come in for low-fat and low-carb recipes. If you have any favorites, please share them.

Dorothy Krieger is looking for a source for silver dragees used to decorate cookies. She is not having much luck finding them.

Yvonne Dawsey wants to thank Marilyn Bradow for the delicious rum pound-cake recipe. Next she plans to try the version submitted by Alice Carter, Sue Ellen Miranda and Anne Levitano.

You Asked for It is a reader mail column. Send recipe requests to You Asked for It, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail them to Please put "Recipe request" in the subject line. Recipes will be received by mail only. Be sure to include your full name, city and phone number. Letters without this information will be discarded. Requests cannot be answered by phone or mail.

[Last modified January 18, 2005, 10:49:46]

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