Saturday, December 7, 2013

Photography Bitching and Pumpkin Sage Soup

 So, I finally made some recipes and took some pictures. Then, I realized I still didn't like the pictures, even after editing. However, to prove to my remaining readers that I am not 100% just restaurant reviews, I figured these were good enough.

Actually, they're probably better than good enough. However, before taking my mini-hiatus, I was getting a LOT better at food photography! AND styling. Really, look back to my photos from this summer, they were getting SO good! And now... so not-so-good. Somehow, my standards for my own photos are now way too high--anything less than what I was doing, I feel embarrassed to post. And even though these are perfectly acceptable, they aren't good enough in my eyes.

I was getting on FOOD GAWKER FOR ONCE. Sigh.

However, I am kind of forgetting that I left ALL my blog props in Massachusetts (two boxes I'd packed up of plates, glasses, napkins, table cloths, random silverware), I gave up my softbox for sake of room, AND my two little fluorescent lights--all because I couldn't take them with me and needed to sell as much stuff as possible. And now, being unemployed, I can't buy back all the photography stuff I left behind.

When you're following your dreams of moving across the country to a warmer climate, you gotta make some sacrifices I guess. And Austin is pretty great! We're experiencing some pretty crazy cold weather, which I guess isn't too common here, and in two weeks I get to visit home again. I'm job hunting like a madwoman, doing some freelance work, and re-tooling my book proposal. And, Cory and I are moving into our own apartment in January. Keeping busy!


So, sub-par photos will have to do for now. However, the recipe itself is pretty bomb, so there's that :) It was inspired by a favorite bakery back home (Second Street Bakery, if you're ever in the area) and I've made it before but never blogged before. I know it's late in the season for pumpkin, but I figured it's good enough to share even if it's off season. Also I'd gotten the pumpkin way before Thanksgiving and needed to use it before it went bad. Plus, as I mentioned, it's CHILLY in Texas and soup was necessary.

Please note that the rosemary is NOT in the recipe. It was a last minute addition because Rosemary grows like MADNESS over here--HUGE bushes of it. I've never seen so much rosemary. It's pretty cool.

...lots of caps in this post. Hm.

Pumpkin Sage Bisque

  • 1 small sugar pumpkin (~2 lbs) peeled, seeded, and cooked through
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 3 leaves sage, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 1 can coconut cream
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbs olive oil + 1 tbs butter
-In a large saucepan, melt the butter and warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic and cook until onions are translucent.

-Add the pumpkin, sage, nutmeg, and chicken broth (you may need more or less, enough to cover the veggies by a little less than an inch) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes.

-When carrots are tender, puree the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor. Add sriracha, salt, and pepper to taste.

-Add coconut cream, slowly, mixing constantly, until soup is at desired creaminess. Top with a dollop of condensed coconut cream or sour cream.
 

20 comments:

  1. No worries, I feel like my food photography is a constant up & down process. These look pretty good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It's winter, so it's extra hard. I'm missing my tabletop setup right now :\

      Delete
  2. I think these look pretty great! I am constantly struggling with photography blahhh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My macro lens is my saving grace. Even in low light I can get them to look okay-ish instead of terrible.

      Delete
  3. These photos still turned out pretty well! Getting on Foodgawker seems like a constant battle -- I'll have imagines accepted for a whole week, and then nothing from the following week. Guess I'm just not very consistent! This soup looks crazy yummy. Definitely not too late in the year for pumpkin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not even trying to submit right now, I know it'll only end in heartache.

      Delete
  4. I totally go back and forth between really liking and really hating my food photos. For some reason I've been having better luck with my city blogs photos, and I'm shooting those with a remote! Bah. At least this soup still looks tasty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need a remote! Also I left my tripod in MA. Uuuurgh. And thanks!

      Delete
  5. I feel your photographical (whatever, I'm making it a word) pain. I love to write, love to cook, love to create recipes...suck suck suck at photos! For what it's worth, I would love a bowl of pumpkin sage soup!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The photography has been a slow process. My fiancee is even a former photographer, so I don't REALLY have an excuse... heh. He's explained ISO and shutter speed and f-stop and all that a million times and it just does. not. stick.

      Delete
  6. I have the same issues and I've been at it for awhile, now. I have no excuse for sucking. haha! But, whatever, I guess I'm too busy to care all that much...at least for now, anyway. This recipe and photos are perfection! Absolutely gorgeous capture, if you ask me and a fantastic recipe to boot.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dear Ashley, the pictures are great and the Pumpkin Bisque looks so comforting - I have never added coconut milk for creaminess to my pumpkin soup but it sounds like a very delicious idea! From pretty far away I whish you much success with your new start in life, a wonderful new job and all the very best all around!!!
    Liebe Grüße,
    Andrea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you so much! The comments don't show up until I approve them, so they always look like they "disappear" ;) cuts down on spam comments!

      Delete
  8. Ashley it seems that my comment has disappeared .- so if you find two, please delete this one...Your soup does look wonderful and I like the addition of coconut cream to a pumpkin soup - I have never tried that before but it sounds like a wonderful idea!
    From very far away I whish you much succes with your job search, a great new beginning and all the very best all around!
    Liebe Grüße,
    Andrea

    ReplyDelete
  9. Winter is the WORST for photos--the light is weird and fleeting. I think the soup still looks great, and I'm sure you'll get back to where you were with your photos soon!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ashley, I loved reading this post! Your soup looks delish and I like using coconut milk even in my pumpkin pie. I get very testy with photography and photo editing, too. Lighting is everything and wintertime with limited daylight can make a food blogger go bat****crazy. OK, don't laugh...but I edited one of your photos for kicks...and, to make you feel better. I uploaded it here: http://wickedgoodkitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/ashleys-pumpkin-sage-soup.jpg Feel free to clip and add to your post. Next time, I'll charge you. ;) I hope you're enjoying your new city! xo

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've had that happen before.. many times. I photograph it and then get the photos on the computer and just simply hate the photos! This soup looks great.

    ReplyDelete