Edina resident Meredith Deeds has ended her time as CEO at the International Association of Culinary Professionals to pursue her career in content creation and food consulting, as well as her interest in Minnesota food culture. An author of six cookbooks and the Healthy Family columnist for the Star Tribune, Deeds has also contributed articles and recipes to many publications across the nation. Her recipes have complex flavors yet are simple to create. “It’s really important to come into the kitchen without being afraid,” Deeds says, “because that is when the good stuff happens.”
“Minneapolis has probably been a burgeoning food city for a long time. But in the time I have been here—in the last six to seven years—it has exploded with talent and exciting new restaurants and concepts,” says Deeds. “The people are not here just because they couldn’t make it anywhere else. I think there is real food community here—that they feel ‘This is the place to be.’ ”
Deeds is working on many food-related projects in the Twin Cities. She is especially excited about heading up a fundraiser for the Minnesota chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, an organization of women leaders in food, beverage and hospitality, whose mission is education and philanthropy. “[I’m] always excited to bring women into the culinary conversation,” Deeds says. The event is slated for next spring.
We asked if we could tap into her culinary expertise, and Deeds was happy to share a couple of pumpkin recipes with Edina Magazine readers. For more recipes from Deeds, visit her website here.
Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Amaretti
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 15-ounce can of pure pumpkin
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 12 amaretti cookies, crumbled
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A few drops of white wine vinegar
In a large saucepan, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook for about 10 minutes or until they start to brown. Add garlic and continue to cook for another couple of minutes. Add pumpkin, nutmeg and broth, and simmer for 20 minutes to allow the flavor to develop.
Add 8 amaretti and half of the cheese and cook for a minute or two to allow the cookies to soften.
Puree the soup with a hand-held or regular blender. If using a regular blender, do this in two batches. Be careful to leave the top of the blender slightly loosened so that steam doesn’t build up and the soup doesn’t splatter.
Add the cream and season to taste with the salt, pepper and vinegar.
Divide into six soup bowls and garnish with the remaining amaretti and cheese.
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Pecan Crust
- 2-1/4 cups ground ginger snap cookies
- 1-1/2 cups pecans, toasted and ground
- 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1-1/2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 15 oz. can solid pack pumpkin
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 4 large eggs
Heat oven to 350°F Line the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with a double layer of foil that covers up to the top edge of the pan
For crust: In a medium bowl, mix ginger snaps, pecans and sugar. Add melted butter and stir until combined. Press crust mixture onto the bottom and sides of the springform pan.
For filling: In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on high speed until light, about one minute, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add pumpkin, cream, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and salt to mixture and beat on medium speed until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating just until combined, scraping down the sides of bowl in between each egg.
Set the pan inside the roasting pan and pour filling into crust (filling will almost fill pan). Set a large roasting pan in the oven and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the springform. Bake until cheesecake puffs around the edges, and center moves only slightly when pan is shaken, about 1-1/2 hours. Run small sharp knife around cake pan sides to loosen cheesecake. Transfer the entire roasting pan to rack and cool 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the water and continue to cool until room temperature, about 2 hours. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. (Can be prepared one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)