Scare Up a Homegrown Halloween Supper

Halloween falls on a Sunday this year which means there’s time to scare up a supper of something frightfully delicious, like a steaming cauldron of Mad Scientist Soup and a loaf of Dead Head Bread.

We celebrate all the holidays around here and Halloween is one of our favorites.

You can join the celebration by treating your favorite goblins to a healthful, homemade meal before they start their trick-or-treating.

To make the time go faster before sundown, have them help stir up a big batch of Mad Scientist Soup or let them roll the dough for the Dead Head Bread.

Both of these recipes are dreadfully easy to prepare and can be made with all kinds of homegrown vegetables and herbs.

Together these will make enough to feed a bunch of hungry ghouls, but you might want to serve with a side of baked garlic–to help keep the vampires at bay.

Mad Scientist Soup

Let your inner Mad Scientist experiment with different ingredients to concoct a steaming pot of soup. For this batch, I used a variety of garden-grown goodies including tomatoes, Italian green beans, small potatoes, and thin slices of summer squash (about 1 pound total), but you can add whatever is handy from your gardening efforts in the pantry, fridge, or freezer.

For a vegetarian soup, substitute vegetable broth for the beef broth, omit the ground turkey, and use more veggies.

If you have little helpers, add to the fun and call the ingredients by their seasonal names: brains instead of beans, frog eyes instead of pasta, and real kidney beans.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 pound ground turkey
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 quart beef broth
1 quart diced tomatoes
1 small zucchini, sliced
Assorted fresh or frozen vegetables
1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
Small cooked pasta, like Ditalini (optional)

1.    Heat the oil in a soup pot and add the ground turkey.
2.    Use a spoon to break up the meat and cook until it’s done.
3.    Drain the juices.
4.    Add the onion and garlic; cook for several minutes to soften.
5.    Add the broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil.
6.    Lower heat and add the vegetables, beans, herbs, and spices.
7.    Mix well and cover the pot; simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and flavors are blended.
8.    To serve, place a small amount of cooked pasta in bowls and add hot soup.

Dead Head Bread

1 and ½ cups of warm water (divided)
1 packet active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorn
4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried sage
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

1.    Dissolve yeast and honey in warm water.
2.    Set aside for 10 minutes until foamy.
3.    Place flour in large bowl and add yeast mixture, salt, peppercorn, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
4.    Add 1 cup warm water slowly to mix into a dough. (You may need less water to keep the dough from becoming too sticky.)
5.    Place dough on a floured surface and knead until smooth (about 3-5 minutes).
6.    Place dough in a clean bowl; cover with a towel and let rest in a warm place for 60 minutes.
7.    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
8.    Punch dough down; remove from bowl.
9.    Roll dough into a rectangle about 10 x 12” and then place on a baking sheet.
10.  Form the dough into a skull shape (like a keyhole with two holes for eyes). Use a fork to add detail, if desired.
11.    Let the dough rest 10 minutes.
12.    Mix minced garlic with 2 tablespoons olive oil and brush on dough.
13.    Sprinkle the bread with rosemary, sage, cheese, and salt (if desired).
14.    Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let cool before cutting.


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