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Monday, November 13, 2017

Autumn Books and Comfort Food

Fall has arrived in the southern California desert! With daytime temperatures dropping 30+ degrees to around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, I can finally fire up the stove and concoct one of my favorite comfort foods, butternut squash soup.

I believe my now splotched recipe was originally cut out of an automobile insurance magazine, and contained no attribution. My changes/asides are in orange.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

1 butternut squash (3 pound), peeled, cut into one inch pieces. I totally cheat and buy the squash already peeled and cut up. (54 ounces = 1 pound). You have permission to do likewise.
2 Granny Smith apples, seeded and cut into one inch cubes.
1 medium onion, diced.
1 carrot, sliced.
4 tablespoons butter.
1/2 cup white wine.
3 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock.
1/2 cup heavy cream.
1 teaspoon sea salt. (Add more to taste if you'd like.)
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste.
1/2 teaspoon red pepper. I use half that amount. You may like your soup more spicy.
7 thyme springs, leaves only.
1 bay leaf.
Fresh chives
Freshly grated nutmeg.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large baking dish (I use a bowl then transfer the ingredients to 2 cookie sheets) toss the apples, butternut squash, carrot slices, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, sea salt, pepper, and thyme with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Roast uncovered for 30-45 minutes or until tender. (If your oven runs hot, check earlier than 30 minutes. Trust me, you don't want to end up with brown, blah soup!)

Heat 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-low flame in a cast iron pot. (I just use my pasta boiling pot.)
Saute the diced onions with a pinch of sea salt until translucent. Add the wine and let it reduce by half. Add the roasted ingredients to the pot, together with the vegetable stock or chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook together for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf, and using a hand held blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add the cream and cook an additional 3 minutes.

Adjust the seasonings and then serve hot with a drizzle of cream, snipped chives, and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.

Enjoy your soup with friends, family, or a good book!

Happy Autumn!
~Ariella Moon

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