Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Makin' Dinner

When 4 o'clock rolls around over here, we dance a fine line between tempers, hungry bellies, siblings, and making dinner...

...and that delicate dance usually results in some Sarah McLachlan on the iPod, some creative chopping/stirring/dancing, an end-of-summer-type soup, and a chilled glass of Chardonnay for one tired Mama.

End-of-Summer Soup
Makes enough for lots o' people, or leftovers for a few days for a family of 4

1 3-4 lb butternut squash
2 carrots
2 small yams (aka young sweet potatoes)
1 large yellow onion
2-3 TBS good olive oil
~2 quarts good chicken stock
1 tsp salt
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
pinch of nutmeg, smoked paprika, and coriander
shot of brandy

Roughly chop onion and toss into a large stock pot with olive oil and salt. Allow onion to tenderize while peeling and chopping the rest o' the veggies. When onion is tender, toss in carrots, yams, and butternut squash. Add spices and chicken stock. Bring to boil, then simmer until largest chunks of squash and carrot can easily be smashed with the back of a spoon (about 20 minutes). Turn off heat and allow veggies/stock to sit for about 15 minutes. Puree in batches in blender (making sure to allow for steam to vent while blending by covering opening with towel to prevent explosions!) and put puree back into pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot with garlic croutons and a sprinkling of black pepper and paprika. 

Sausages or ham usually accompany this soup for us, along with smiles and requests for seconds. A great go-to for those end-of-summer, beginning-of-early-fall veggies that fill fridges and counter tops. Also, a quick fix to that evening funk (and the dance that follows).


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