Friends Sara Persson and Stacey Savant love to eat. Having lived in Beijing for four and five years respectively, one of their favorite activities was discovering hole-in-the-wall restaurants around the city. When they started making dishes at home, friends asked them to share their recipes; that’s when they had the idea to offer cooking classes to expats. Now in its second year, STARAfood averages one or two classes per week and prioritizes recipes that use simple, easy-to-find ingredients. For this issue, Persson enlists the help of her kids – Marcus (age 11) and Amanda (9), both students at the International School of Beijing (ISB) – to make a seasonal pumpkin, orange, and carrot soup with spooky crackers. The shoot takes place in Savant’s kitchen, where most of STARAfood’s classes are held. The recipe is wholesome, super-simple, and just in time for Halloween. To find out more about STARAfood, visit starafood.blogspot.com (VPN needed) or email email@example.com.
Pumpkin, Orange, and Carrot Soup
Serves 4 做四人份
2tbsp of olive oil 2汤匙橄榄油
1 onion, finely diced 1个洋葱，切粒
2 cloves of garlic, diced 2瓣儿蒜，切丁
1tsp cumin seeds 1茶匙孜然
1 small pumpkin 1个小南瓜
One large carrot 1根大一点儿的胡萝卜
One orange 1个橙子
3 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
Yogurt or sour cream to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Prep the ingredients: Peel and dice the pumpkin and the carrot, grate some orange peel for zest, then juice the orange.首先准备好原料：南瓜和胡萝卜去皮切丁，用擦子擦出一点儿橙皮末，再榨好橙汁。
2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Cook the onion, garlic, and cumin seeds on low heat until the onion softens and the cumin seeds begin to pop. Add the vegetables, and cook on medium heat for two minutes. Add the orange zest, stock and orange juice. Simmer until the vegetables soften.
3. Remove mixture from heat and puree until smooth in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Pour the soup back into the pan. Let simmer, then season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with yogurt or sour cream before serving.
To put a Halloween twist on this recipe, make some easy-peasy spooky crackers out of puff pastry. 如果要增加万圣节气氛，可以在汤里加入一些小怪物之类的‘恐怖’小饼干。
Makes approximately 8-10 crackers 大概做8-10块饼干
One sheet of puff pastry, thawed 一片千层酥皮，解冻
Black sesame seeds 黑芝麻
1. Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). 烤箱预热至175°C。
2. Place the thawed puff pastry on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on it and gently press down on the pastry. 将酥皮摆在烘焙垫上，撒上黑芝麻籽。用手轻轻把芝麻压进酥皮。
3. Use either a cookie cutter or a knife to make spooky shapes of your choice. We did ghosts and bats.用饼干刀或普通刀刻出你想要的形状。我们做的是蝙蝠和鬼。
4. Bake until golden (around 7-8 minutes) and enjoy with your soup.烤至金黄色(7-8分钟）。
This article originally appeared on page 30-31 of the October 2014 issue of beijingkids. To view it online for free, click here. To find out how you can obtain your own copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correction: The original article erroneously stated that STARAfood replicates Chinese dishes in its courses; it actually specializes in western food. In addition, Amanda’s age was given at 8; she is actually 9.
Translation proofreading by Jingbo Wu, photos by Dana Cosio-Mercado and Sijia Chen