Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

I feel out of sorts posting about a soup without my friend Seriously Soupy talking about it  After all, she’s been preaching to us for years how easy it is to make soup.

Last night for dinner my daughter and I made some Butternut Squash Soup (for the first time), and it was amazing. Let me clarify, it was restaurant-quality, according to my 9-year old son who had just last weekend, ordered a bowl of Butternut Squash soup at a local restaurant.

I could not believe how simple it was to prepare the soup.  And, I even cheated and bought the pre-sliced butternut squash cubes so I didn’t have any hassle.  We chopped all of the ingredients together and let them saute a bit on the stove in some butter.

butternutveggies

Is there anything better than walking into the front door and smelling vegetables cooking on the stove?  Our entire apartment was full of this warm, succulent aroma which was a welcomed distraction to the dreariness of the cold, rainy day.  Then, we added some chicken stock to the pot and voila, we let it simmer on the stove for 40 minutes.

maddybutternut

The last step is just to blend your soup and you’re finished.  It’s that easy.

I’ve hesitated to make Butternut Squash soups at home because I always thought they were too creamy.  And, for that reason, I don’t order the soup when I’m at a restaurant either.  This particular recipe calls for no additional cream; we let the veggies and the stock speak for themselves.

Be forewarned though, even without the cream, it’s still very filling. I had one large bowl for dinner and I was stuffed.

The best part about the soup are the leftovers, which will warm your bellies for days to come.  Also, don’t be afraid to freeze your soup too.  It’ll be just as good a few weeks from now when you’re looking for a quick dinner fix.

Hope you enjoy.  We certainly did.

Butternut Squash Soup:

adapted from Allrecipes

makes 4-5 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 1 medium butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 (32 fluid ounce) container chicken stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot, and cook the onion, celery, potatoes, and squash 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Pour in enough of the chicken stock to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 40 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.
  2. Transfer the soup to a blender, and blend until smooth. Return to pot, and mix in any remaining stock to attain desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

 

 

Baked Apple Chips

apple chips

It’s starting to feel a tiny bit like fall here on the east coast–harbinger of apple picking and pumpkins galore.

I visited an amazing local farmer’s green market around the corner last week and was greeted with a cornucopia of fresh produce–locally grown.  The apples were just too impressive to pass up.  Instead of my normal morning workout, simply carrying two bags of apples was all that I needed to break a sweat.

With all those apples, I was compelled to bake some apple chips.

This recipe is super easy and really only requires one ingredient: apples. We used  Red Delicious apple sand a Gala apples but, really, any variety is fine. The key is to slice the apples as thin as possible. We used our handy OXO Mandolin to get perfectly even slices.

Next, just lay your slices on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. We chose to sprinkle our slices with some cinamon and sugar too before we let them bake in the oven for approximately one hour.

While baking, the sweetest smells of fall will waft throughout your kitchen.

After an hour, just loosen the apples from the paper and cook them for another 2-3 minutes and you’re resdy to enjoy the most delicious apple-based snack.

But, we now have a new (healthy) snack that we can make on a moment’s notice.

Enjoy.

Beef, Kale and Vegetable Stew

Beefkalevegetable

I asked Serena, author of celebrated soup blog Seriously Soupy, to share a soup recipe that can help bridge the gap between the end of summer and the kick off to the new school year.  Because, who isn’t searching for easy, time-saving recipes when the afternoon schedules are frenetic.

We love Serena’s Beef, Kale and Vegetable soup and there’s nothing better than serving a hearty soup that functions as a complete meal too.  We hope you enjoy!

Here’s what Serena has to say:

While I love the light summer soups, there is something so comforting of the meal-in-a-bowl option that makes for a wonderful dinner option. Personally, I love rich vegetable soups so I added peas, carrots, potatoes and crunchy kale as well as a base of tomatoes and onions. I also added in some lean beef and rice, which can be easily modified to another type of meat or no meat for vegetarians. Enjoy!

 

About Serena the author of the celebrated  blog called Seriously Soupy: Serena started Seriously Soupy as a creative outlet for herself after her first daughter was born, which combined her passion for cooking with an interest in learning more about soups and soup making.  Since it started, she has given soup tours and taught soup classes and has a catalog of over 100 soups on the site!  You can join Serena on her Soupy journey at SeriouslySoupy.com and twice a month you can find her here, at My Judy the Foodie, sharing her wisdom and helping demystify the world of soup.

 

 

Summer Fruit Dips

I’m amazed that some of my friends have kids who have already gone back to school. To me, summer is finally in full bloom.  Due to the harsh winter, none of our flowers even showed signs of budding until the end of July.  The corn stalks are finally as high as high as an elephants’ eye.  The farmer’s stands are BURSTING with a plethora of colorful fruits and veggies that it’s hard not to stop and simply take in their visual beauty and splendor.

From August through Labor Day, my kitchen is usually stocked with  fresh fruits and vegetables  so I can make a quick, light, refreshing summer recipe on the fly.  For instance, last night, for dessert, my son asked for fruit salad.  This has never been requested before so I jumped at the opportunity.

Simply cutting up a variety of fruits:  apples, pears, strawberries, and bananas, and serving them with a homemade fruit dip (that literally took five minutes to prepare) was the the perfect answer to his request.  Not to mention, we enjoyed it this am for breakfast too.

Time to enhance the flavor of fresh, ripe fruits to give them the added attention they deserve.

Enjoy.

 cherryfruitdip

photo courtesy of P&G Everyday

fruit dip

 

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