Happy first day of Fall darlings! After a warm weekend the Virginia weather is setting the stage for the change in season with just the slightest chill in the air, and I am “celebrating” with my first head cold in years. We are not amused in the slightest.
Thankfully, the bug seems to be disappearing as quickly as it appeared, but I am limiting my kitchen time until I am better. I do have a few recipes that still need posting, so those are going up this week, AND, I had the perfect excuse to roast some vegetables and make a comforting autumn soup. You really don’t need an excuse to make this soup though, it’s delicious!
Earlier this week, I picked up a butternut squash to make my “usual” butternut squash soup (not this one, another one I will post one day) because it’s one of my favorite fall comfort foods, and a pie pumpkin to roast for fresh pumpkin puree. The pumpkin puree was originally going to go into some pumpkin ravioli, and then a bourbon-spiked pumpkin roll (with a super cute Halloween-decorating twist). That was not to be this weekend though. Instead, we took advantage of the fact that People Who Are Not Healthy Should Not Be In The Kitchen to work on getting rid of a few more moving boxes. We even hiked out to Ikea to grab cabinets for our kitchen and a few other organizational odds and ends. Our house almost looks livable!
Back to kitchen stories… I roasted the pumpkin for puree Friday morning, when I was still feeling great, so I had some beautiful fresh pumpkin puree I wanted to use and I didn’t really feel like waiting until I felt better to follow the original plan. A quick glance at the spice cabinet to confirm that we had saffron in stock, a little of the homemade chicken stock I made last week, and one oven roasted butternut squash later, and I had the most delicious Plan B evah.
This soup takes about an hour to make, but most of that is just waiting for the vegetables to roast. Then you just scoop everything into a blender or use an immersion blender in a large pot, add seasoning, and serve. It’s also a great freezer-friendly meal, so don’t be afraid to double the batch.
If you have a baby, this is also a great opportunity to make some of your own baby food. I set aside a little extra of the roast pumpkin and squash, pureed together, and spooned it into the reusable baby food cubes I have. Four vitamin-packed preservative-free meals (4 ounces per cube), done!
Parenting side-note for those of you wondering… we are following a self-led weaning plan for Princess A. As she shows interest in age-appropriate foods, we allow her to try them and incorporate them into her diet. She frequently eats what we are eating, so I don’t have a large stash of pre-made baby food for her. Instead we opt to have at least one item on the table that is safe for her to eat, so we can expose her to “real” food and textures. I do like having a few back-up containers of baby-appropriate foods for those times when our food is too spicy, not age-appropriate, or when her meal time doesn’t quite match up to ours.
I used chicken stock for the soup because that’s what I have on hand, but you may feel free to substitute vegetable stock to make a vegan/vegetarian version.
I like to top this soup with a little sprinkle of cheese, gouda and goat cheese (pictured) are my current favorite options, but I think a poached egg floating on top would also be delicious with a big hunk of crusty bread for dipping.
It might be time to go raid the leftovers…
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1 small pie pumpkin (about 2 lbs)
- 3 cups homemade chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp unpacked saffron threads
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- olive oil
- cheese to top (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a large baking sheet or roasting pan with aluminum foil and brush with olive oil.
- Wash and dry the pumpkin and butternut squash. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut off the stems and cut the pumpkin and squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and place both on the baking sheet cut side down.
- Roast for 35-45 minutes until you can easily pierce the thickest part of the squash and pumpkin with a fork. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Place the three cups of broth in a small sauce pan with the saffron threads. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes then remove from heat.
- The butternut squash and pumpkin should be cool enough to handle by now. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh, it should separate very easily from the peel.
- Measure out 4 cups of packed squash and 3 cups of packed pumpkin.
- Place into a large pot with the broth and blend until smooth with an immersion blender, or puree in batches using a traditional blender.
- Add salt and pepper, adjust to taste
- Serve warm, top with shredded or crumbled cheese before serving if desired.