Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Thank God for Weekends [And A Recipe for Soup!]

Albeit the dreary weather this weekend it turned out to be a nice series of days for us.  It was a good end cap to a very long week in which I think most of you were worried about my sanity after my last post.  I entered Monday morning thinking I was a fool for writing what I did on Friday.  And then 3:00 hit and I was most certainly sure that what I wrote was pretty all true.

No matter how much I get done during the day, no matter how much time I've had to myself, no matter how well-napped the babies are, all hell breaks loose when the Bigs come home from school at 3:00.  Are we the only house?!  Suddenly all at once every one wants my attention.  And a snack.  And a new diaper.  And to have a full on meltdown.  They want to go outside but they don't want to change out of their uniform.  And when they do go outside someone gets poked in the eye with a  stick and screams bloody murder.  Then they come inside and it's a fight to hold off screen time for as long as possible lest their brains turn to mush.  All the while I'm trying to piece together the ingredients we have on hand in my head to make a healthy and delicious family dinner.

Only three more hours until Dad gets home.

So we took a break and didn't get a thing checked off our to-do list this weekend.  But we did take the kids bowling and we went to church as a family and we went to the apple orchard.  It was full and joyous.

On Friday, to warm the souls of my family on what was a rainy, windy and cold day, I made my annual butternut squash soup.  I found this recipe years ago on Foodnetwork.com but I've altered it so many times that it now has become my own and resembles almost nothing of the original.  This soup is crazy amazing and my kids all ask for seconds and thirds.  And whenever kids eat that many vegetables in one sitting, the recipe must be shared.

This recipe does take some lovin' care. It would not be filed under Quick & Easy. I let myself off the hook on rainy days.  I go through backpacks and then I let them pick out a movie and get all cozy on the couch while I immerse myself in the kitchen.  In some ways (a lot of ways!) rainy days are easier. So I recommend keeping it in your back pocket until a wet and cold day just as I did.

1 Butternut Squash, peeled and diced
2 Carrots, roughly chopped
3 Tablespoons butter (or more if you're into that)
1 Onion, peeled and diced
2 Celery stalks, diced
1 Apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 Red bell pepper, diced
1 Teaspoon dried rosemary
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil for roasting

1. Arrange the squash and carrots in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Note that the smaller you dice the squash the more caramelized it will get.  Some like this, some don't.  If you've never cut up a butternut squash before, see this helpful guide.  Drizzle the squash and carrots with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a cast iron oven or stock pot over medium high heat.  I used my beloved Le Creuset that my MIL gifted to me so many years ago.  Toss in the onions with some salt.  Sauté until translucent.  Add the celery and other pinch of salt.  After two minutes add the apple and some more salt and then the red bell pepper and some more salt.  I add salt after each addition because I think it enhances the flavor better during the cooking process than it does when I add it at the end.  I also feel like I end up using less salt this way.

3.  Let all those veggies hang out over the heat until the squash and carrots are done roasting or until everything is nice and tender.  (If it's taking too long for the veggies to get soft you can always add a bit of the chicken stock and simmer it.)  Then add the squash and carrots and rosemary.

4.  Now you'll want to puree everything into a soup.  I have an immersion blender which I believe to be one of the best inventions of all time.  But if you don't have one of these you can just use your blender or food processor or even a food mill.  You'll want to make sure and puree it in batches though.  Which is why I love my immersion blender because I can do it all at once without dirtying another item.  You can make the soup as smooth or as chunky as you'd like.  I happen to like mine a bit on the chunkier side.  During the pureeing process it helps to add a little bit of stock.

5.  When the ingredients are pureed, return to the stove and add the stock or what you have left of it.  Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the cream and simmer 5 more minutes.  Enjoy!

I serve my soup with par baked ciabiatta rolls that I cover with olive oil, sea salt and rosemary before baking.  This soup keeps really well and can be refrigerated and reheated though I'm not sure for how long because ours was gone in less than 24 hours!

Now if this recipe were really Pinterest worthy, I would have taken some great photos of it.  But I did not.  Mostly because my hands couldn't be bothered with anything besides a spoon.  So instead, you'll have to settle for some apple orchard shots.  There's an apple in the soup so it's kind of related, right?


  1. I do believe we lead parallel lives. And that 3:00 hour? Holy hell...I don't understand what happens to my mood because I can be all kinds of happy until about 3:15 when I wonder why I was so excited to see them because it is the same thing almost every day... But there are those few days when it makes it all bearable, and wonderful, aren't there?

  2. I hate 3:00. Evie gets home from pre-school, fights with logan bc he's not as cool as her new school buddies, Logan gets mad and picks up on evie's attitude, then they beg to go outside but I can't bc I don't feel like toting the baby around the yard to keep an eye on them (no fence over here), so they want to watch tv, but I'm holding out until I have to cook dinner. so more fighting... blah blah blah. It is NOT easy. But I'm super glad to hear that you enjoyed a nice weekend after that wretched September. And I'll pray for you and Brian's new hours. Jimmy has worked odd-ball hours since we had our very first baby...it's so hard and such a looong day with babies to care for. Hang in there xoxo.

  3. Don't regret that last post (love that you called it "pretty all true"). Thank God for honest blogs and honest friends! Yikes, I hope I don't get in trouble with Jessica Alba for saying that...



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