The first microwave meal I ever made was chicken flavored Maruchan instant ramen in a cup. I must have been 8 or 9, and I was home with my grandmother. We hung out a lot on weekends. Well, on that particular day, I was craving those Maruchan noodles and all of its MSG glory. As usual, my grandmother offered to cook it for me, but I was having a big girl moment that day. Big girls cook their own food, and I was determined to do it all on my own. I must have done 10 things wrong along the way, but I was so proud of my cooked noodles. So was my grandma.
I’ve come a long way with microwave cooking. Gone are the days of instant ramen and frozen meals, which have been replaced by single serving fried rice, lasagna, and soup dishes. I used to think that the microwave was just for reheating leftovers and making popcorn, but as I’ve discovered over the last year, that is not the case.
Guys, I’m going to do something a little crazy. I’m planning on writing an e-cookbook called “Comfort in a Mug”, a collection of, you guessed it, comfort food recipes in a mug. For now, the recipes will be gluten free and vegetarian, but this all can change as I go along. I have no idea where to begin with writing an e-book, but I’m looking for a good little challenge right now. The goal is to finish the e-book before the year is over, and if you don’t hear anything from me in December, I want all of you to light a fire under my butt and tell me to get a move on it!
Speaking of meals in a mug, let’s get on with this pumpkin chowder.
Seven must be my lucky number because it took me seven tries before I got this recipe down. Initially, I cooked this recipe at full power, and the soup kept overflowing EVERY SINGLE TIME. The batches of soup tasted spectacular, but what a mess they created! I actually threw in the towel and gave up on this recipe, until I spoke with Liz about it earlier this week. She asked me if I tried cooking the recipe at a lower power setting, which triggered a “Duh, why didn’t I think of that” moment from me. Lowering the power of the microwave made all the difference in the world! Just like we vary heat when we’re cooking on the stove, we need to vary the power output when cooking in the microwave, too!
Are you ready to try this? Make sure to read my notes below to make the perfect soup!
MASTER LISA’S MISTAKES (AKA COOKING NOTES)
- Set the mug on a plate: After making 6 batches of overflowing soups, I’ve learned that it is a good idea to set a large plate underneath the mug to catch any liquids. This makes cleaning up messes so much easier!
- Pay attention to your microwave’s power settings: You don’t want to cook this at you microwave’s highest power setting. What happens is that when the liquids reach a boiling point, it will want to bubble and flow over the mug. MESSY! Ick. We want to cook this at lower power settings so that the vegetables in the soup will have time to cook, but you won’t end up with pumpkin soup everywhere. Get to know your microwave and see what the different power settings are!
- Chopping: Try to chop your potatoes into 1/4-inch cubes so that they’re easier to cook.
- SHORTCUT: You can always use frozen vegetables instead of fresh ones for the recipe. This will definitely cut down your prep time.
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag me and use #hnbeats! I love seeing your creations!
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