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Recipes: Twists on Classic Holiday Dishes from Chicago Chefs

Pumpkin Pie and Cranberry Sauce get a whole new life thanks to updates from Chicago restaurants

via Perry Fish

Pumpkin Pie Soup from Café Robey {The Robey, 1616 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago; 872.315.3084}


  • 1 small pie pumpkin or 28 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 rib celery
  • 1-in cube fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 /2 c white wine
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 qt vegetable stock
via Mistey Nguyen


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove stem from pumpkin and clean well. With a sharp knife, cut the pumpkin in half and remove seeds. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place the pumpkin in the oven. Cook for about 45 minutes, until the flesh is tender.

While the pumpkin is in the oven, slice the onion, carrot, celery, and fresh ginger. Using a 4-quart heavy bottom pot on medium low heat, place the vegetables in pot and begin to sweat them. Season with salt and lightly with pepper. The vegetables should become tender and the onions will become translucent. This should take 20-30 min. If the pumpkin is not fully cooked, you can turn off the heat and let the vegetables rest until they are good to go.

Once the pumpkins are cooked, let them rest until you can handle with a clean towel. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon, leaving the skin of the pumpkin. Place with the cooked vegetables.

At this time you can time, you can turn the pot back on, and add the white wine. Cook the alcohol off, by simmering for a few minutes. Add the cream vanilla extract and pumpkin spice. Cover with the stock, but don’t use all of it. Try adding half and then go from there. Let the mixture cook on low to medium heat at a simmer for 30 minutes.

With a blender, puree the soup until its smooth and silky. This is where the extra stock comes in handy, as it can help adjust the consistency.

With the purée back in the pot, make the final adjustments, adding more pumpkin spice, stock, and salt as needed. Garnish with festive items like stuffing, biscuit crumbs, roasted potatoes, bacon or ham…and enjoy!

via Jacob DeHart

Sorrel Cranberry Sauce from The Heritage {7403 Madison Street, Forest Park; 708.435.4937}


  • 2/5 c Flor de Jamaica
  • 4 c water
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1/10 c sugar
  • 1 lb fresh cranberries
  • 2/5 c dark brown sugar


Put Flor de Jamaice, water, cloves, Allspice, Star Anise, and sugar into a medium sauce pot. This will be the poaching liquid for the sauce. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove from heat and cover the top of the pot with plastic wrap. Let it steep for 20 minutes, then strain and keep the liquid for poaching.

Wash cranberries before poaching them as well. Add the cranberries to the poaching liquid and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and add dark brown sugar. Stir well, and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to stop the sugar from caramelizing on the bottom of the pot.

Once cranberries are tender, and the liquid is jam-like in texture, serve as it is or puree it for a smoother texture.