Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day otherwise known as Columbus Day. Three day weekend for us. YAY! The weather here in Northeast Indiana has been practically perfect in every way. Spit spot even. Sorry, I was having a Mary Poppins moment. The sky has been clear and blue, the sun shining brightly, cool but not cold, a little breezy and the nights have been nice and crisp. There’s a thin line when sleeping determining what’s cool enough and what’s downright cold especially when said sleeping is done with the window open with a fan blowing the air into the room. I can’t sleep if the room is too stuffy and hot. Even during the winter we have a fan blowing air around in our room.
Back to the weekend. We had a cookout at the park on Saturday to celebrate Princess Keira Cat’s birthday which was Thursday. She and her brother, X-man, got to run around and play to burn off some of that energy kids naturally have. As the old saying goes, “if only I could bottle and sell some of that energy….”. Heck, who am I trying to kid. I need it for myself. My green-eyed Irish guy and I were manning the grill cooking the burgers and dogs. And of course there was cake. Everyone needs cake for their birthday or birthdays when they’re celebrated more than once. More celebrations=more cake. Yum! A good time was had by all.
With the nights being cooler, soup sure sounds good and definitely hits the spot. Then again, I could eat soup no matter the weather. I don’t even think I’d mind eating it every day. This happens to be one of my favorite soups of all time. It’s warm, creamy and comforting. Garnishing it with homemade cornbread croutons is the proverbial icing on the cake. Let’s propose a toast, clink our spoons and share some soup.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Roasting the squash:
3 lb. butternut squash
Olive oil for drizzling
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with sides with aluminum foil. Cut the ends off the squash and cut in half. Scoop out the seeds and strings with a large spoon. Place the squash halves on the lined baking sheet. Drizzle both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until squash can be pierced easily with a fork. Remove from oven and set aside to cool enough to touch. Scoop the “flesh” of the squash out of the rind with a spoon and set aside.
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 large onion, small dice
2 carrots (I used 8 or 9 baby carrots), shredded
1 medium apple, peeled and shredded
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
4 cups chicken broth (32 oz.)
roasted butternut squash
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice or more to taste
In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Add the onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the carrot and apple and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Pour in the chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Cover the pan and reduce heat to medium low. Cook 20 minutes. Add the butternut squash, butter and cream. Cook on medium low for 10 minutes. Pour this mixture into a blender or food processor, holding a clean kitchen towel over the lid, and blend until smooth. Remember to only fill your blender 2/3 full. Hot liquids can cause the lid to the blender to explode. Hot liquids + skin = owie burns. Return blended soup to the Dutch oven on low heat. Add salt, pepper and pumpkin pie spice. Taste to see if more seasoning if necessary. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice. Enjoy!
Wishing you love, laughter and cake,