Posted in recipe, simple suppers

Easiest Roasted Butternut Squash Soup Ever.

This time of year is always sort of bittersweet for me. I lament the end of summer, but I welcome fall and the coming change of seasons. Shorts and tank tops get put away and sweaters, boots, and thick blankets come out of hiding. Pumpkin, apples, and maple flavors start making appearances in my kitchen, along with the more “comfort food” types of recipes, instead of the watermelon, garden fresh tomatoes, and grilled goodies that rule the roost during the summer.

I was at my parents’ house on Sunday to help Dad put the winter cover on the pool, and I stopped at one of the roadside farm stands on my way home for some mums to decorate my front step. While I was there inspiration (and my appetite) struck and I grabbed a few squash to whip up some soup that night.

I only started cooking and eating butternut squash in the past two years or so. I don’t know what took me so long, because it’s damn delicious. My “recipe”, if you can even call it that, is stupid easy. I came up with it on the fly and haven’t changed much about it since.

The hardest part is peeling, cleaning, and cutting the squash, so you can get the pre-cut squash at the grocery store to make it really easy on yourself. You can add in any other vegetables you like (just roast it along with the squash), or top it with toasted pumpkin seeds or whatever.

It’s warm, it’s comforting, it’s autumn in a bowl.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

3 small to medium butternut squash, cored, peeled, diced medium (Approx. 6 cups diced)

1 large onion, diced

4-6 cups vegetable stock

1 pint cream

4 TB Olive Oil

2 tsp curry powder

11/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste

1 tsp cracked black pepper, plus more to taste

Preheat oven to 425. Toss the diced squash with 2 TB olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Roast for 20 minutes or until cooked through and slightly browned. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sautee until browned, 5-8 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and the curry powder, allowing the spice to toast in the oil for a few minutes. Add the roasted squash and vegetable stock and bring to a simmer for ten minutes. (FYI: This soup was pretty thick, I would maybe add another cup or two of stock to this amount of squash if you prefer it a little more thinned out.)

Remove pot from heat. Puree squash and stock in a blender in batches, or use an immersion blender directly in the pot. Stir in the cream, adjust for seasoning, and serve immediately with any garnish you prefer.

Or not.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go make all the pumpkin-based things.

Posted in recipe, Uncategorized

Orzo and Peas in Basil Lemon Cream Sauce

Have I ever told you I’m a horrible gardener? Like, awful. I go for weeks without mowing the lawn. I’m excellent at ignoring weeds. I’ve killed cacti, for crying out loud. When it comes to planting a summer vegetable garden, no matter how hard I try to make a decent go of it, halfway through July everything just sort of…meh. Withers, dies, stops growing. You name it. So when people in my life offer home-grown produce, I jump on that train faster than you can say, “Free Vegetables”.

I was trying to think of something quippy there but it’s late, and I’m tired.

Anyway, a coworker offered me a small bag of peas today, which I gladly took. I usually eat them raw in the pod (extra fiber!), but on the way home today I was thinking about making them with dinner and I came up with this. It’s super simple, you can throw it together while everything else is in the oven (or on the grill), and super tasty.

This was only about 3/4 cup of fresh peas. I would have liked at least a full cup, if not a cup and a half to the half pound of pasta I had. If you don’t have fresh peas, you can absolutely use frozen, just toss them in the pasta when making the sauce as opposed to boiling them with the pasta.

Julienne (or chiffonnade) of basil. This was four large leaves, I only needed two.

Lemon zest. Best smell. Just use the zest, not the juice, or you’ll end up with pasta with curdled cream, which, ick.

See? Simple. Tasty.

And also kind of pretty.

Orzo and Peas with Basil Lemon Cream Sauce

1/2 lb orzo pasta

1-1 1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) peas

2 leaves basil, julienned

2 tsp fresh lemon zest

3 TB butter

2 TB flour

1/2 cup heavy cream

Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Shell fresh peas. Place a pot of water on to boil. Salt water, add orzo, and cook according to package directions. Add peas to boiling pasta with 2-3 minutes left and drain.

2. Melt butter in a pan over medium high heat. Add flour and stir, creating a light loose roux. Add pasta, peas, and cream to the pan and stir, allowing the sauce to thicken.

3. Add basil & lemon to the pasta, salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Enjoy! And if you have any home grown produce you’re looking to get rid of this summer? I’m your girl.