from Jude’s Kitchen: Ghoulish Good Grub

Fill up family tummies with healthy, but spooky soup and ghostly biscuits before they head out on Halloween.

Spooky Soup

Sometimes it helps to tease young taste buds to try something nutritious with a little bit of added fun—like these ghost-shaped, crisp biscuits.

By topping this thick, filling soup with a bit of fun, you’re likely to get a whole lot of delicious and health-full harvest season vegetables into the tummies of your little ones—and big ones too.

That’s especially important just before they embark on an exciting adventure that involves running around being someone else and eating lots of sweets. Otherwise, they could wind up filling those growing bodies with nutrient-free candy instead of the good stuff.

Much better to begin the adventure with a tummy full of good food.

These shaped biscuits are rather like cookies but without the sugar so I’m sure your favourite ghosts and goblins—or is it Avengers and zombies—will go for them, even though they’re not dessert.

When the kids were little I always tried to sneak whole grains, vegetables and milk products into every muffin, cake and meatloaf I made, just to include a little extra goodness into their diet.

Now they’re doing it to their kids.

For more kid-friendly ideas for meals, pick up a copy of my book, Jude’s Kitchen, with 200 recipes for every meal of the day, special occasions, snacks and desserts. It’s organized by the seasons so you can be inspired by what’s fresh and available locally throughout the year. It’s available at local bookstores as well as many local wineshops as well.

Ghostly Cheese Biscuits

Once you’ve made this simple dough and cut out your biscuits, push the remaining bits of dough together and roll it out to just a quarter-inch thick. Use a ghost cookie cutter or do free-form cut-outs of ghostly shapes from the remaining dough and cook them with the biscuits. Cut up ripe black olives for eyes. They will be thin and crisp and make great Halloween toppings for soup.

3/4 c. (175 ml) sharp cheddar

1 1/2 c. (375 ml) flour

1/2 c. (125 ml) whole wheat flour

1 tsp. (5 ml) sugar

4 tsp. (20 ml) baking powder

1 tsp. (5 ml) salt

1/4 tsp. (1 ml) black pepper

1/3 c. (75 ml) olive oil

3/4 c. (175 ml) skim milk

Pre-heat oven to 425 F.

Grate the cheddar cheese.

Combine all but the last two ingredients and mix well with a wire whisk.

Add oil and milk and stir with a wooden spoon until you have a ball of soft dough.

Turn out onto a lightly-floured board and knead a dozen times. Roll out to an inch thickness and cut with a drinking glass or biscuit cutter the size you want.

Arrange them on an ungreased baking sheet with an inch between them.

Bake for about 15 minutes or so, or until risen and browned.

Makes about a dozen.


Spooky Squash Soup for Halloween

This soup is thick, tummy-filling and delicious, and it makes a great vegetarian meal, by substituting the chicken broth with vegetable. Top with a ghostly cracker or thin-cut biscuit to turn a Harvest Vegetable Soup into Spooky Soup. Serve with Rigamarole White, a casual, dry white blend from the Okanagan that’s a great match with the spices and the rich, but sweet harvest vegetable flavours of the soup.

1 large onion

2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh ginger

2 small butternut squashes

1 large potato

2 large carrots

2 celery stalks

drizzle of oil

1 tbsp. (15 ml) whole cumin seeds

1 tsp. (5 ml) turmeric (opt.)

3 c. (750 ml) chicken stock

salt and pepper

Chop onion and mince garlic and ginger.

Peel and chop squashes and potato into one-inch dice (two cups or so of squash), and slice carrots and celery.

Drizzle a little olive oil into a large pot and heat the cumin seeds over medium heat, adding the minced fresh ginger.

Add onions to the pot and soften them, then add the garlic, squash, potatoes, carrots and celery and cook for a minute or two.

Add chicken stock, bring to bubbling, and turn down to a simmer, cover with a lid and stir occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes.

Mash with a potato masher, or blend with a blender for a finer texture. Taste and season.

Serves 4-6.