Warming Soup for the Cold Season

Warming Soup for the Cold Season

Mains & Sides Nourish Recipe

To start the New Year off, I’m sharing one of my favorite soups – curried butternut squash soup. The vibrant, roasted butternut squash combined with a blend of fragrant spices are enough to make you warm and cozy during the chilly season. I’ve made many variations, but for the past few years I’ve refined this one to my liking. It’s a simple soup that can be served on it’s own or paired with any meal. I love it with fish and a green vegetable.

The original recipe of inspiration was sent to me from a friend almost 10 years ago. I believe it called for peeling, cutting and roasting the squash, and I know it had cream and either sugar or honey added. When it comes to soup or purée, I lean toward less labor and roast the squash whole. I also prefer my creamier soups slightly lighter that many recipes call for. The curry blend is superb, and I’ve never changed it.

If you try this recipe, make your preferred revisions. However, if you don’t roast the squash whole as I do, I suggest roasting the first four spices for a smoother grind. Plus, it will make the kitchen smell wonderful!

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

• 3 Tbs coriander seed
• 1 ½ tsp cumin seed
• 1 tsp mustard seeds
• 1 tsp fennel seeds
• 1 ½ tsp whole black peppercorn
• ½ heaping tsp whole clove
• 1 tsp fenugreek seed
• 2 Tbs ground turmeric
• 2 tsp chili powder
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground nutmeg
• 1 butternut squash (2.5 to 3 lb)
• 1 Tbs olive oil
• 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, plus more for thinner texture if desired
• 1 to 2 Tbs butter
• ¾ cup half and half
• Salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Puncture the butternut squash a few times and place on a baking sheet. Roast until squash is fork tender, about 60 minutes.

Once the butternut squash is done, cut it in half and allow it to cool until it can be safely handled. Remove and discard the seeds. Scoop out the flesh from the skin.

Meanwhile, on low heat roast coriander, cumin, mustard seeds and fennel until the spices release their aroma and slightly brown. Remove from heat.

Grind all the spices together, either with electric or hand grinder or by hand in a mortar and pestle. Start with grinding the peppercorn, clove and fenugreek; since the pepper can break down slower, and then add the roasted spices. Add the turmeric, chili, cinnamon and nutmeg. (Note: this curry blend will make more than needed for the recipe.)

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil on medium-low heat. Add the butternut squash, 2 cups of stock and 4 Tbs of curry. Warm through, stirring occasionally, then turn off heat. Purée mixture to desired texture with a hand blender. Add remaining stock and butter, and cook on low heat for approximately 10 minutes. Add half and half. Warm the soup, but don’t let it boil. Salt to taste.

Ladle and serve drizzled with yogurt, garnished with cilantro or on it’s own.

Hope you enjoy!

xo,
Julie

It’s One-Pot Time

It’s One-Pot Time

Mains & Sides Nourish Recipe

I complained all summer that we didn’t have a summer, and now fall is here and it feels like fall. Thank you, Mother Nature. The air has been generally cool and dry, and the days are getting shorter. It feels natural to cook one-pot meals and roast all the vegetables until my heart is content.

One of my latest cravings has been soup. Looking for something I hadn’t made before, I came across a cream of mushroom soup recipe in my One-Pot cookbook. I hadn’t had a craving for cream of mushroom soup before – my aversion of the soup in a can version that mum made lived strong – but this recipe by Jean-Pierre Challet had little cream. I dove in on chance, and it was delicious. Paired with roasted root vegetables, it was the perfect, simple feast to align with the season.

Here’s the recipe for you to try. I used a small red potato, slightly more than ¼ cup half and half, and green onions for garnish.

Créme de Champignons et Chanterelles

• 3½ oz chanterelle mushrooms
• 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus 1 Tbsp (optional)
• 2 shallots, sliced
• 1 fingerling potato, peeled and diced
• 7 oz button mushrooms, sliced
• 1 bouquet garni
• salt and pepper
• 1 leek, white part only, sliced
• ½ cup whipping cream
• finely chopped chives, garnish

Sauté the chanterelles in 1 Tbsp butter until tender. Remove from heat, reserving as a garnish for the soup.

In a saucepan, sauté the shallots in 1 Tbsp butter. Add the potato and button mushrooms; sauté for 1 minute. Add about 2 cups water, or enough to cover, and the bouquet garni. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 10 minutes (or until tender). Stir in the leek and half of the cream. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni. Blend the soup until very smooth in a blender or with a hand blender. Add the rest of the cream, and if you like, blend in 1 Tbsp butter for extra richness and flavor.

Ladle the soup into bowls, placing a few chanterelles in the center. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Let me know what you think and share photos!

xo,
Julie

Stew for a Foggy Summer

Stew for a Foggy Summer

Mains & Sides Nourish Recipe

If you live in San Francisco, you know that the summer weather is not the same as what most of the country is experiencing. It can be cold, windy and many times foggy. Living here for about 7 years, my mind still craves the raw, crisp and coolness of Summer’s harvest while my body (covered in layers rather than a sundress) needs a warmed, cooked meal.  To balance my wants and needs during this season, I typically eat more raw foods at lunch and a cooked dish with big flavor or lots of spice or fresh herbs that’s filling yet not too heavy. Although typically cooked more in winter, one type of meal that brings me comfort is stew. This is a stew I recently made. A couple things to note: rather than making fresh adobo I used leftovers from a small can of chipotles in adobo, so you may want to use your favorite adobo recipe. Also, you may want to add the chipotle in small quantities to adjust for your heat preference.

Linguiça and Lentil Stew

  • 1 cup puy lentils
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 small to medium red potatoes, cubed
  • 1 lb linguiça, casing removed and sliced
  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch kale, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4-1 chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped
  • smoky paprika or spicy smoky paprika, depending on preference.
  • stock or water
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Vinegar (optional)

Cook lentils in 2 cups of water, adding water as need, until cooked slightly al dente. Set aside.

In a large pot, sauté onion in 1 Tbs olive oil until translucent and tender. Add garlic and ¼ tsp of the paprika and cook for additional 2-3 minutes. Remove ingredients with a slotted utensil and set aside. Leave the remaining oil in the pot. Add another 1 Tbs of olive oil and sauté potatoes until golden brown. Add some paprika, salt and pepper to lightly coat the potatoes and cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove potatoes from the pot and set aside. Add linguiça to pot, cooking approximately 3 minutes, and then add the tomatoes, onions and garlic, 1 tsp paprika and 1 cup stock (or water). Once tomatoes start to break down, add the chipotle and adobo. (I used ½ chipotle and 1 Tbs adobo.) Next, add kale to wilt. Then, add the lentils and potatoes. Cook for 20-30 minutes, allowing flavors to blend. More liquid can be added if a more soupy texture desired. Salt and pepper to taste. When serving, add a splash of white vinegar to the dish.

If you have less cooking time, you can continue to add the ingredients to the pot. I chose sauté the potatoes in the onion and garlic oil for texture and to adhere more flavors onto the potatoes.

Let me know what you think!

xo,

Julie