Time For Soup!
The other day, I spent an afternoon waiting in a doctor’s office.
The bright sun beamed into the room through the shutters, continually blinding me. I had to change my seat three times before I could find a comfortable spot.
Almost two hours went by. I probably should have used the time for writing, but instead, I grabbed a magazine…and another magazine—until I had gone through at least 15 of them. I would habitually start turning pages—one after another—slowing down and lingering a bit on the photos. Unless there are photographs of food, I quickly continue to the next page. Food gets my full attention—not only because I love to eat, but also because cooking is one of my favorite things to do.
This time of the year, when temperatures drop and fall finally shows its colors, food becomes more significant in most peoples’ lives. We tend to look for comfort food and add soups back to our menus. Who doesn’t like soup? Believe it or not, I know a few people. However, I still find hot soups to be attractive on my fall and winter menus.
It is hard to say how many seasonal recipes, including soups, I went through while sitting in the waiting room that day. None of them captured my interest or even triggered my cravings. Most of what I took away was fall colors—orange, red, and brown—putting my mind into Thanksgiving mode.
It was late afternoon when we drove back home. I asked my husband to stop at the grocery store so I could pick up a few items… I was ready for a bowl of soup.
With the fall colors from the magazine still in my mind, I made one of my favorite seasonal soups. Since I couldn’t share a bowl with you, I thought the next best thing would be to share the recipe with you.
Butternut Squash Holiday Soup:
2 medium butternut squash, about 4 lb, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
15-20 whole garlic cloves
6 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup water
2 leeks (the whites and about an inch of the tender greens) cleaned and finely chopped
5 cups water
3 Knorr chicken or vegetable low sodium bouillon cubes
8 oz heavy whipping cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh chopped chives
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
In a roasting pan, combine the squash and garlic cloves. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and toss until it is well coated. Pour in ¼ cup of water and roast for 50-60 minutes, until the squash and the garlic are soft and golden. Stir occasionally. Add a bit more water if the squash begins to scorch.
Meanwhile, in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, warm the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the leeks and sauté until golden brown, for about 12-15 minutes. Set aside until the roasted squash and garlic are ready.
Add the roasted squash and garlic to the pot with the leeks. Add 5 cups of water and the Knorr bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside and let it cool—for about an hour.
Using a blender and working in batches, blend the cooled mixture for about a minute, until it’s very smooth.
Transfer the blended mixture back into the saucepan. Reheat over medium heat, then add the whipping cream and simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Reheat when ready to serve. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with freshly chopped chives. Serve immediately.
Feel free to share your favorite soup recipes here!