Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 6; makes about 16 cups of soup
1 large butternut squash (3 pounds)
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 yellow onion, finely diced
3 gloves garlic, minced
8 cups vegetable stock
3 red apples (about 1 pound), peeled + coarsely chopped, some reserved for a garnish
1 cup raw cashews
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups one-inch cubes sourdough bread (about 4 ounces)
1 cup whole pecans (about 4 ounces)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
12 leaves fresh sage
2 tablespoons loosely packed + finely chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
Creamy Butternut Squash Soup Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Peel the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Use a soupspoon to scoop out the seeds and discard them. Cut the squash into ½-inch-thick slices and then into ½-inch chunks. Place them in a medium bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Toss to coat; then spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until tender—about 50 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until it is tender and browned in spots—about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more.
3. Add the stock, apple, cashews, and 1 teaspoon of the salt to the pot and cook for 50 minutes. When the squash has finished cooking, remove it from the oven, add it to the pot with the stock, and cook the soup for 10-20 minutes more until the cashews are very soft.
4. Transfer the soup to a blender and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, the ginger, nutmeg, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper. Blend until combined and then transfer the soup to serving bowls. Top with breadcrumbs, diced apple, and enjoy!
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the bread cubes on a (parchment-lined? No, nothing) baking sheet and cook them in the oven until they are dried out and toasty—about 5 minutes. Then transfer them to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until small bread crumbs form. Add the pecans and continue pulsing until the bread crumbs are fine and the pecan pieces are about the size of a pea.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add the sage leaves and fry them until they are crisp—about one minute. Then transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, reserving the oil in the skillet.
3. Next, add the bread crumb mixture to the hot oil and toss until it is light brown and toasty—2-3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the parsley and salt.
4. Top the Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with the bread crumbs, fried sage, and pomegranate seeds.
Sriracha Chicken Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 celery ribs, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 small yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Two 12-ounce jars roasted red peppers (about 4 small peppers)
Two 32-ounce boxes chicken or vegetable stock (8 cups)
One 14-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes with green chilis
1 to 2 tablespoons sriracha
12 ounces short cut pasta (such as rotini, penne or egg noodles)
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves, more for garnish
1 avocado, pit + skin removed, chopped
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, then add the celery, onions, carrots, garlic and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook this mixture until it is soft and fragrant—about 7 minutes.
2. While the veggies cook, drain the roasted red peppers, then prepare by pureeing them in a food processor or blender, or finely chopping by hand.
3. To the pot with the veggies, add the stock, pureed roasted peppers, tomatoes, sriracha (use 1 to 2 tablespoons, depending on how spicy you like things), and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring this mixture to a simmer, then cook to allow the flavors to combine—about 5 minutes.
4. Add the egg noodles and cook until they are a couple of minutes short of al dente—about 5 minutes. Add the cooked chicken, lime juice, and parsley, then cook until the chicken is warmed through—about 3 to 5 minutes. Taste the soup and add salt if needed.
5. To serve, top with the additional parsley along with the avocado. Enjoy with grilled bread if desired.
Charred Tomato Garlic Bread
One 8 X 5-inch loaf ciabatta bread (or other crusty bread)
2 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
1 garlic clove, halved
1 medium tomato, halved
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Cut the loaf of bread in half length-wise and drizzle all sides of it with the olive oil. Place the bread crust side-down on the pan, and cook until grill marks appear and the bread is crusty—2 to 3 minutes. Flip the bread over, then press it down to ensure good contact with the pan; continue to cook until grill marks appear and the bread is charred in spots—2 to 3 minutes more.
2. Remove the bread from the heat and and rub the cut side with the cut side of the garlic, going over the bread a few times. Then rub the bread with the cut side of the tomato, squeezing the juice out of the tomato and onto the bread as you do so.
3. Sprinkle the cut side of the bread with the salt and a little extra olive oil. Serve hot and enjoy!