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I need ideas for a Thanksgiving first course

My sister and I are combining forces to prepare our family's traditional Thanksgiving meal. There will be 8 of us total. Three are her kids between 11 and 6.

We were thinking of starting with butternut soup, but my sister has served it twice in the past month. So we're trying to think of another "seasonal" first course that we could make instead. A salad just isn't that interesting to us.

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  1. Are you still interested in a soup? If so, this Roasted Red Kuri Squash Soup With Lemongrass & Coconut just caught my eye.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/recipes/article...

    1 Reply
    1. re: tcamp

      And I know you said salad was boring but Rockycat just posted this link in the T'Day Menu thread. The romaine, grapefruit, roquefort salad with pomegranate-port vinegrette sounds anything but boring to me.

      http://www.uncpress.unc.edu/magnoliag...

    2. Try something like this, maybe--
      http://memoriediangelina.blogspot.com...
      very very adaptable to different vegetables. I made a really good one the other day
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8758...

      1 Reply
      1. re: blue room

        ooh thanks for posting this - i had a fantastic one at a restaurant yesterday and i want to make one now.

      2. a small plate of butternut ravioli?
        miniature cheese souffles in ramekins?

        1. I've made this several times to rave reviews

          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

          1. Is your main meal starch heavy? If not, you could do a pumpkin or squash risotto, topped with a seared scallop or shrimp. Does the family like beets? Beet carpaccio is beautiful, especially if you use different colors.

            1. We always start with either clam chowder with a couple of pan roasted littlenecks for each bowl to make it especially festive, or a lobster bisque loaded with bite sized bits of fresh lobster and a whole piece of claw meat on top.

              1 Reply
              1. re: CapeCodGuy

                Bless You!.we do clams casino or small stuffed quahogs....but not sure kids want that

              2. Sweet potato soup with a maple chantilly (fancy word for whipped cream) and spiced pecans.

                I just had this at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Lake Oconee this past Friday and it was ridiculous. Simple and super easy to make, but amazing finished product. I'm working on duplicating it. I'm happy to share my thoughts on how to make it, but I can't provide any amounts yet as I haven't tested it yet.

                1. Heidi, I've prepared a pumpkin shrimp bisque, from the Herbfarm Cookbook...I'm telling you, you've never heard a crowded room so quiet (save for the slurpng).

                  1. We started Thanksgiving last year with a creamy oyster soup. It was delicious!

                    1. It's hard to know what will work when kids are involved, but I caught this recipe on GMA this morning and thought of your request -- carrot and apple soup with ginger creme fraiche - http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/recipe/emer... . A creamy mushroom soup could be nice, as well.

                      An interesting salad, as others have said, can be had. Roasted butternut squash, fennel or beets with a good cheese, maybe some nuts, citrus or roasted pear, on top notch greens -- the combinations are endless.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Terrie H.

                        I get tired of being served squash soup all the time. For me, squash soups have worn out their welcome.

                        The few times I've served a soup, it's been a nice homemade "Cream of Mushroom" soup. One of my favorite recipes is one from one of Martha Stewart's older original cookbooks - "Entertaining" perhaps? Anyway, it's her late mother's recipe & was unbelievably delicious if a bit rich. But that only means that a little goes a long way & you can offer smaller servings.