Fall is my favorite time of the year. Halloween, fun festivities, celebrations and decorations leading up to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years evoke vivid childhood memories. I remember coming home for dinner after playing outside for hours with the neighborhood kids. The feeling of warmth on my cold, rosy cheeks as I walked inside the house was wonderful. The smells from the kitchen were pure heaven. My mom put a homemade family dinner on the table every night. It always tasted great, especially after working up an appetite from an afternoon of running around with my friends.
This time of year brings back those days and inspires me to get in the kitchen and cook up my own tasty, hearty dishes. Roasted root veggies, pumpkin bread, pot roast, pies, soups and stews. Let’s break out the crock pot and pressure cooker! So many choices, where do I begin? And then there’s Thanksgiving and Christmas to think about. Even if you “don’t cook” and all of this sounds overwhelming, no worries. There are always fun, simple things you can make that don’t take a lot of time and also make you look pretty bitchin’ in the kitchen. Here’s one of my favorites ~ easy enough for an everyday meal but so beautiful, it’s worthy of Grandma’s bone china soup tureen on your Thanksgiving table. Enjoy!
Nancy’s Butternut Squash Soup (dairy-free & gluten free)
* 2 TB olive oil * 1/2 small onion chopped * 1 med yukon gold potato peeled & cubed * 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, & cubed * 4 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth for vegan) * ¼ cup fresh orange juice * 1 tsp sea salt * 1/2 tsp nutmeg * Sprigs of parsley for garnish
1. Sautee onion, potatoes, & squash in olive oil until slightly browned. 2. Transfer into soup pot and add enough broth to cover veggies. 3. Bring to a boil and the lower to a simmer for 30-40 min–until veggies are soft. 4. Let cool off a little and either use a blender “wand” OR just throw into a blender to puree until smooth. Add orange juice and stir in. 5. Pour back into pot and add as much of the remaining chicken broth for the consistency you prefer. 6. I like mine a little on the thicker side. Reheat to barely a boil. Ready to serve garnish with parsley sprinkles.