Words To Live By:

"The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won't wait while you finish the work."

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Creamy Butternut & Tomato Soup - Thanks, Marg!

Hey...   Remember me?  I know you thought I disappeared into the nether (we have Minecraft geeks in our house!), but I promise, I just disappeared into real life.  I have reaffirmed two things about myself:  1) I have a very difficult saying no (or not feeling guilty when I do!) and, 2) I haven't improved my juggling skills.  I'm dropping balls left, right, and centre like it's the coolest thing to do.

Today was a day off and with the kids back to school, it means they're on the bus at the crack of way too early (7:30am but some of us appreciate an 8 a.m. wake up call - not because we were reading until the wee hours of the morning or anything.  Never that.)

Anyhow, once the boys were off, I tackled some Wisdom & Whimsy projects, tidied the kitchen, folded a bit of laundry, scrubbed the shower (oh how desparately that needed to be done!), washed off the paint & ModPodge, and hustled out the door by 9:30 a.m.  Woohoo, I'm a wonder!

Our church is hosting a big community dinner event tomorrow night. I was chosen to put together the centrepieces.  Fifteen centrepieces to be exact - "Easy!" I said, "Not a problem."  I lied.  I learned two brand new things today:  1) I am not a florist nor talented like a florist, and 2) 15 centrepieces take time to assemble - like hours.  Who knew?!?  The tables look a little more pulled together though, so I guess that's a win and I took time to chat with some of the other lovely ladies from the church who lent a hand dressing and setting the tables.

Can I stress e a point here?  Women friends are important.  The chit chat.  The advice.  I daresay even the gossip (not malicious rumour mongering, but just the catch up about what's going on.)  Also, age? Not an issue.  You can learn so much from other women, be strengthened and inspired.  That being said, if they're dragging you down, cut rope.  No need to drown yourself in negativity.

During our catch up I mentioned the overabundance of tomatoes from my garden.  We don't even eat tomatoes, people!  Alas, I have tons.  I mentioned I would probably make soup for dinner.  (You can guess who's going to complain about that, can't you?)  One respected friend mentioned that tomato & butternut squash soup is delicious (with lots of garlic and ginger.  Don't forget the garlic and ginger.  Her words.)  I claimed she's a genius... because guess what else I've had sitting on the counter waiting to be used?!

So dinner tonight was my attempt at a creamy butternut squash soup - my take on these two very different recipes {here} and {here}, all because I was inspired by Marg.


Creamy Butternut & Tomato Soup

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash, halved & seeded
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Approx. 7 good sized tomatoes, stems removed and "chunked"  (that's a real technical cooking term)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons grated peeled ginger or 1/2 teaspoon dried ground ginger
2 teaspoons curry powder (original recipe calls for turmeric - I couldn't find mine!)
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp dried basil
1 can coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water
black pepper, fresh ground to taste
Salt, to taste
Parmesan, fresh grated (optional)
bacon, crisp and crumbly (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F.  Cut your squash in half, cut out the seeds, and brush the cut sides with oil.  Place on a baking tray cut sides down, tucking a clove of garlic into the bowl of each half. Bake for approx. 45 minutes or until tender.   Allow to cool.  Remove and discard skins.  Reserve squash and roasted garlic.

Wash your tomatoes and remove the core.  Cut them into random chunks (quarters, eighths, whatever you feel like - it's all going to be pureed later.)  Add to reserved squash and garlic.  Set aside.

Heat oil in a deep pot and saute your chopped onions until softened and translucent.  Stir in your ginger.  Add remaining ingredients.  Give it a stir and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat, simmer for 20 minutes or so.  If you have an immersion blender, now is the time to put it to good use.  If you wish you had an immersion blender (but don't because your husband is trying to get you to spend smartly and doesn't agree that it's a necessity,) let the mixture cool a bit and then blend in small batches using a regular blender. Careful with hot soup and the blender.  It's dangerous and you've been warned.  Not that I've learned from experience.  Add pureed soup back to pot and reheat to desired temperature.  Season with salt & pepper as desired.  Top with fresh grated Parmesan (we only had Gouda) and crumbled bacon if you desire.

Serve with grilled cheese (because, you know, tomato soup!?!)  Ignore the complaints coming from your picky eater and enjoy the savoury wonder that you whipped up with fresh local produce - maybe even from your own backyard.  Dinner is served - thanks, Marg!

P.S.  This recipe was approved by 3 out of 4 mouths.  Our youngest has requested leftovers in his lunch tomorrow.

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