And speaking of cooking, I have to share this recipe with everyone! Even though we have snow on the ground, I still consider it to be Autumn and therefore am making and eating lots of soup these days! Which reminds me, I need to whip up a big batch for the weekend.
Ok, so here's the recipe I made last week:
Butternut Squash Soup
(from The Kitchen, in Boulder) An excellent restaurant with delish food and wine!
This can be made with any winter squash, which usually start coming in around October. You’ll need about 1 1/2 pounds of peeled and chopped flesh, so when buying a squash, weigh it and imagine that you will lose a small percentage of the weight.
This recipe involves a very basic technique that can be used for almost any hardy vegetable; just changing the seasoning as desired. We puree the soup, but you can also serve it unblended. Serve piping hot with a glug of olive oil, grated cheese, or just straight up … but you really do need some crusty bread with butter.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper
1 medium butternut squash
A few grates of fresh nutmeg
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or water
1 cup heavy cream
1. In a large saucepan over low heat, melt butter; add onion, garlic, thyme, crushed red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt, and a couple of turns of the pepper mill. Cover and leave to sweat for about 15 minutes (you want the onions to be almost melted, without coloring). Add squash and nutmeg, cover again, and sweat for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (This really brings out the flavors of the vegetables and all the sugars.)
2. Increase heat to medium-high and add stock or water. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until everything is very soft.
3. Transfer to a food processor or blender (or use an immersion blender) and puree to a smooth soup. Return to pot and add cream; heat through. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
I doubled the recipe when I made it so that I could eat more and maybe put some in the freezer for later. I think I froze a quart of it and we ate the rest. :) It's just that good and so simple.
Here are some pictures from when I made it last week. Even the twins helped!
Piper and Lily are both becoming more interested in what we do in the kitchen. So I pulled up chairs for them and had them put the squash cubes in a big bowl for me while I chopped the rest! The twins really had fun digging their hands in the cubes!
Here is everything simmering away and smelling wonderful. Squash, thyme, garlic, onions, butter.. yum!
Don't you just love the color of this soup! It's so pretty! The soup being pureed in my food processor. You could also use an immersion blender.
Mixing in the cream.
And the final product! A bowl full of yumminess! I drizzled some olive oil, a grate of parmesan, and even some extra nutmeg. But seriously, just eat it straight up with some bread. That's the best way. It's so good on its own that you don't even need all the extras on top. Just bread and butter on the side.
Now, go make it and tell me what you thought of it!