Thursday, September 9, 2010


Since it's been in the low 50's and our heaters are still not coming on inside the apartment, I've been in the mood for some soup. Yesterday I got a hankering for some butternut squash soup...I think because I've been seeing Styrian warty pumpkins in the store.

Went to my handy cookbook and found a recipe. I'm fairly new to cooking, so I did not realize that butternut squashes are bigger than footballs and as heavy as bowling balls. Dang. This was the only one in the store.


I had some trouble cutting that lug of a mug with my wondey chef's knife (our three-piece Shun knife set is one of the only wedding gifts we brought over and so glad we did). It also said to peel it. Do you know how hard it is to peel something with so many curves with a piece-o-schei├če peeler you bought at Ikea?

Well, it was worth it.

Even though it looked like we were making queso at first. Breaks my heart.
We didn't even need a blender like the recipe said. Good, we don't have one. It was soft enough to mush myself.

Some homemade wheat croutons and a little muskatnuss (nutmeg) and we were in business.

Recipe here. A preparation time of 15 mins. is a lie.

I also made vegetable soup last week (that I turned into minestrone by replacing the potatoes with white beans and adding pesto and parmesan like the book said) that I was making more to be healthy and wasn't expecting it to be great. It was delish. Better than this afterthought of a picture looks.


Vegetable Soup
To turn this soup into minestrone, simply replace the potatoes with one 16 - 19-ounce can of white beans that have been rinsed and garnish bowls of soup with Pesto and grated Parmesan. Serve this hearty soup with Crostini or garlic bread.

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 ribs celery, chopped fine
2 carrots, peeled and chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 medium russet potatoes (1 lb.) scrubbed and chopped medium (for minestrone, substitute white beans)
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat until shimmering. Stir in the onion, celery, carrots, garlic and 3/4 tsp. salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft, about 20 mins.

2. Stir in the broth, potatoes and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Off the heat, add the peas. Let the soup stand for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Test Kitchen Tip: Sweating the onion, celery and carrots in a covered pot over low heat for 20 mins. draws out their natural sweetness, enriching the flavor of the canned vegetable broth. You could make this soup with chicken broth, but we found that the vegetable broth, which is milder in taste than chicken broth, allows the delicate flavors of the vegetables to star.
And, my favorite part about soups is there's always plenty of leftovers.


Louisa said...

Yum! I read this just as I was compiling a grocery list for today's lunch: grilled cheese and tomato soup. It is definitely soup weather! I have had issues finding ready-made chicken or vegetable broth here, though. Do you have it at your store? All I ever see are bouillon cubes.

Laur said...

Wow, Carolyn, this looks amazing! I'm so impressed, especially having just done my first big shop at Spar yesterday and not having the heart to lug anything heavier than salt back to residence. The fact that you even got the squash home, let alone made something so delicious-looking with it, is amazing! And that minestrone is making me drool, mmm :)

Juliette said...

hmmm, maybe you should be a food blogger?? nice photos! yeah, 15min? I don't think so. I love this soup! (put a swizzle of pumpkin seed oil on top w/your croutons, super yum!)

I asked for chicken broth (ready made) here in Germany once and was shown a glass jar full of the nastiest looking fatty-filled beige liquid. Freaked me out! I just use a jar of Knorr bouillon.

The Tulley Family said...

Looks so good! I'm going to try the veggie soup, I LOVE making soup. I've tried cutting up a butternut squash myself once (for an amazing lasagna) but wow it's so much work. Now I try to find it already cut up at Trader Joes.

jules said...

looks delish, but next time don't even bother peeling it, butternut sqash works fine without. I also like adding some ginger and coconut milk, or adding sage (fried and fresh), or adding glaced pieces of apple, or...

BarelyVogue said...

I will def try that butternut soup it looks so yum
Keep in touch!


Julie said...

Looks divine! I love butternut squash, but it just plain exhausts me. Hats off to you! Last year, a friend of mine turned me on to hokaido squash. You don't have to peel this baby, just cook it up skin and all, and it tastes like spun gold. I swear. Oh yeah, did I mention that it only takes a mere a half hour from prep time to table? Will definitely try your minestrone.

Franziska said...

Hi Carolyn.
I am an 22 jear old girl from tirol (Austria) and just stumbled over your blog.
I need to tell you...I love it.
It is sooo cool and also a bit funny to read what somebody from an other country and culture thinks about Austria.
I love to read about your thoughts and will go on reading your blog.


Kimberly said...

Yum Yum! thanks for your email the other day!
It is so weird to pick up a Coles (grocery store here) Spring Magazine and have Halloween ideas and recipes. No pumpkins Down Unda at the moment. Booooo!

Rachel in England said...

YUM! I can't wait to get back to my OWN kitchen (not that I don't like my mum's cooking, but too many cooks DO spoil the broth)! Butternut squashes are a devil to peel but taste delish also make a nice risotto. We don't eat pumpkins here, in fact I'm not sure you can buy them except just before Halloween so I was really excited by all the pumpkins last Autumn when I was in Germany & decided to make soup. Only snag, I purchased the WRONG sort of pumpkin (also a devil to peel) & it didn't taste/look ANYTHING like the recipe book :(

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- Carolyn