Pumpkin and Leek Soup

3 cups well-washed, sliced leek (about 2 leeks)
1 pound raw pumpkin chunks, or substitute winter squash
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup yogurt, sour cream, or cream
Olive oil for drizzling (optional)

In a large saucepan, cover the pumpkin and leeks with a quart (4 cups) of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the pumpkin is soft, 15 to 20 minutes.

Transfer soup to a food processor or blender, or pass through a food mill. Return to the pot and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove from heat and stir in yogurt, sour cream, or cream. Or, serve in bowls with a dollop in the middle of each soup bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with crusty bread.

Baked Feta

Fresh Oregano
Red onion sliced into thin half-moons
plum tomato, seeded and diced
capers, rinsed and drained
garlic, sliced very thin
olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine ingredients in whatever proportion you like on squares of aluminum foil. (One package per person).

Seal aluminum foil packets tightly. Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully open packets and transfer hot contents to plates. Serve warm.

Thai Roasted Vegetables

1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
1 medium-to-large potato, peeled and diced
1 medium-to-large eggplant, diced
1 red pepper, cored, stemmed and cut into strips
1 cup peas (frozen are fine)
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
4 peeled shallots or 1 onion, quartered
8 to 12 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tomatoes, cut into eighths
1/4 cup green, yellow or red curry paste, or to taste, or 1 tablespoon chili paste, or to taste, or cayenne to taste
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Chopped fresh cilantro, mint and/or Thai basil leaves for garnish

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place a deep ovenproof skillet or casserole over medium heat and add all but a tablespoon of oil. A minute later, add all vegetables except tomatoes; sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir. Put pan in oven and roast, stirring once or twice, for 30 minutes. Add tomatoes, stir, and continue to roast until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, about 45 minutes to an hour total.

Put remaining oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add curry paste and stir; whisk in coconut milk, peanut butter and soy sauce and bring to a simmer. Keep warm.

When vegetables are done, stir in coconut milk mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more soy sauce or curry paste if necessary. Garnish with herbs and serve hot or warm.