Microsoft Cooks Up Some Kindness

MicrosoftCookbook1Microsoft is continually expanding its philanthropic efforts, and a brand new set of cookbooks is just one more step in their innovation.

Microsoft employees Colin and Erica McCaig compiled the cookbook with recipes from around the globe, drawing from employees in the multitude of countries where Microsoft has a presence.

As a testament to its quality, the Microsoft Cookbook beat out Michelle Obama’s American Grown cookbook in the 2013 Gourmand International award for “Best Charity/Fundraising Cookbook”.

The cookbook is a fundraiser for the Seattle nonprofit FareStart, which provides culinary job training and job assistance to the homeless or disadvantaged.

The international recipes came together as a result of Microsoft’s yearly cook-off for their Employee Giving Campaign.

Microsoft encourages all of their employees toward giving to their communities, and to this end the company matches up to $15,000 of what their workers donate.

Volumes 1-3 of the multi-part cookbook are currently available for purchase.

Enjoy a sample recipe perfect for fall.

Pumpkin Soup

Microsoft Cookbook, Volume 1, page 80

By Penny Styles

“In New Zealand, pumpkins are used more in savory dishes. The first time I served this to my American colleagues, they were amazed! For us, pumpkin pie appears weird as we did not grow up with pumpkins being a dessert! Enjoy!”


  • 1 large pumpkin (Grey Skin type)
  • 1 large carrot, cut into small circles or squares
  • 4 slices Canadian bacon, roughly cut
  • 1 medium size onion, cut into pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, season to taste
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Croutons
  • Coriander to serve (cut finely)


Cut pumpkin in half, remove seeds, and place face down (skin side up) on baking tray. Add some olive oil, and bake in 400 degrees F hot oven until pumpkin is soft.

On a medium heat, add olive oil to a pot, and fry onion, garlic and bacon for about 2 minutes. Add cut carrots to pan, and fry for 5-7 minutes, stirring so as not to burn onion or bacon. Add stock and spices to pan, and simmer until pumpkin is ready. Add water as needed.

Once the pumpkin is cooked, scoop it out, and put into pan with carrot/onion/bacon mix. Stir together, and cook for a few minutes until everything is combined.

Add to blender in batches, and blend until smooth. In a clean pot, add pureed pumpkin/carrot mix and a bit of water so pumpkin does not burn. Stir in cream, and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with twist of black pepper, a dollop of cream, chopped up coriander, or croutons (little fried bread pieces).


is a contributor to 425 magazine.
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