Creamy Velvet Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Sage

Pumpkin Soup with Sage by Modern Day Forager

Recipes by Rj of Urban Table
Photo Styling & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table
Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

MDF’s take on a creamy, velvety pumpkin bowl soup with crispy sage!

This soup will be sure to satisfy your winter cravings.  The perfect bowl of comfort, this warming soup is also a real crowd-pleaser.  As you know, we like to mix things up at MDF so we added Granny Smith apples for an underlieing tartness which adds freshness and cuts the richness of the pumpkin.  I am a soup gal, always have been and love soup for breakfast, lunch or dinner with a crusty loaf of hot bread.  I grew up in a house of soup artisans, there was always a pot of simmering goodness on the stove.  The smell filled our kitchen and was truly intoxicating .   If I wanted soup for breakfast my mom or grandmother were happy to oblige, going to school with a full belly of warm soup was just as good as a belly full of a hearty breakfast.  I have followed this tradition with my kids, they love the option of having soup for breakfast.  Enjoy this recipe it so easy to prepare and freezes beautifully.

Pumpkin Soup with Sage by Modern Day Forager

 Pumpkin Soup with Sage

 Roasted Pumpkin for soup


  • 1 medium sized sugar pumpkin
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut whole pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, and quarter
  3. Place pumpkin quarters  on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast until tender but not falling apart, approximately 45 minutes. Let cool, peel away meat, and cut into small dice.



  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1  Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups roasted sugar pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon sage leaves
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (retain a pinch for garnish)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Fried sage leaves
  • Roasted papitas


In a medium to large stockpot over medium heat, melt butter and sauté onion, carrot, apple, roasted pumpkin, and sage until tender, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.

Puree the mixture in a food mill (you can also use your food processor or blender.  (we just prefer texture from mill)

Return the puree to the stockpot, add the chicken stock and spices and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add cream and simmer for 10 more minutes. (do not boil)

Fry fresh sage leaves in olive oil in a small saucepan until rise to the top of oil and become crispy.

Season soup  with salt and pepper.

Garnish with crispy sage, roasted pepitas, and fresh thyme leaves.


MDF’s Banh Mi Sandwich

Banh Mi Sandwich

Bahn Mi Sandwich by Modern Day Forager

Recipes by Rj of Urban Table
Photo Styling & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table
Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

Banh mi is humble, but it packs a real flavor punch and with all the traveling we do, we have found one thing is for sure, no two versions are the same.

Here is ours, we started with a golden crusty baguette with the right amount of chew, we hollowed out the interior of the bread just a bit, so we could add creamy Sriracha mayo, next we add the marinated pork (overnight) flavored with lemongrass and blended spices so the meat would be juicy, tender and succulent, then added it to the bread so that the bread could “sop up the juices”, packed it with a crunchy cucumbers, our twist with the addition of crispy Granny Smith apples, pickled carrot, daikon and added watermelon rind for our take on the traditional pickled veg and put it all together for a real show stopper.

Bahn Mi Sandwich by Modern Day Forager


French baguette or French style hoagie roll (Traditional Banh Mi uses a Vietnamese style french baguette; usually made with a combination of rice and/or wheat flour, resulting in a very light, crackly crust and not overly dense bread.  We like just nice French baguette, don’t use sourdough.

Sriracha Mayonnaise (3 Tablespoons good mayo, 1 Tablespoon Sriracha, squeeze of lime)

Maggi sauce

Lemongrass pork shoulder (recipe below)

English cucumber, sliced very thin

Granny Smith apple, matchsticks

Cilantro, chopped

Jalapeno, sliced thin

Pickled Daikon, watermelon rind and carrot (recipe below)


Slice the baguette into 6 inch pieces and then slice in half.

1. Slice the bread lengthwise, and then use your fingers to make a trough in both halves.

2. Generously spreading the inside with mayonnaise.

3. Drizzle in some Maggi Sauce.

4. Place pork steak on bottom of bread

5.  layer remaining ingredients on top of pork.

6.   Enjoy!

Lemongrass Pork Shoulder


1 pound boneless pork shoulder steak, about 1/2 inch thick cut into 3 inch pieces


2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped shallot

1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon black soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon oil


In a food processor, process the sugar, garlic, shallot and lemongrass.

Add the pepper, soy sauce, fish sauce, and oil and process to combine well.

Transfer to a zip lock bag add the pork, and turn to coat well.  Refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Let meat come to room temperature before grilling.

Preheat a grill to medium-high.

Grill for 6 to 8 minutes, until cooked through.

Let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Pickled Daikon, watermelon rind and carrot 


1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks

1 pound of daikons (2), (we used green and sakurajima daikons) peeled and cut into thick matchsticks

1 cup watermelon rind, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons plus 1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cups distilled white vinegar

1 cup lukewarm water


Place the carrot, watermelon rind and daikons in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt and 2 teaspoons of the sugar.  With your hands, knead the vegetables for about 3 minutes, daikons should bend but not break.  Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water, squeeze out all excess water.  Place veggies in a pickling jar. (we used Weck jars)

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the 1/2 cup sugar, vinegar, and water.  Stir to dissolve the sugar.  Pour over the vegetables, making sure the brine covers the vegetables.  Let the vegetables marinate in the brine for at least 1 hour before eating. 

Bahn Mi Sandwich by Modern Day Forager

Modern Day Forager