Thursday, October 14, 2010

Recovery Sunday Soup

This past weekend was filled with weddings, being as it was 10-10-10 and all. Although Joe and I did not go to a wedding on that auspicious day, we did attend a friends’ wedding that was lovely. Since Joe was in this wedding, we had some responsibilities and duties, for the groomsmen that of course included imbibing before the ceremony. And for me, it meant trying to keep my new heels on for most of the night.

One of the things I love about weddings (besides the glorious celebration of love of course) is the food. Cocktail hour is a big highlight for me, and if you remember my love of all things small – you know how crazed I may have gotten around tiny hamburgers and small bites of tuna tartar. Plus during cocktail hour you can get one or two martinis before receiving disapproving looks from bartenders, and having to switch to wine.
Without going into too much detail, there is a game that Joe’s friends play at weddings, that encourages a very good time by all. Basically you draw a name of a fellow wedding guest and if the person you drew, drinks too much and makes a fool of him/herself you win the prize. Granted no one wants to make a fool of them self, or at least only a select few will admit to wanting that outcome for themselves, but these things have a tendency to sneak up on you.

And if you are hoping that this story will lead to me regaling you with tale of public embarrassment by myself or Joe, sadly I will not deliver. What this story will lead to is the need to recover the day after a wedding. Typically Joe and I need to drive back to Maine the day after any celebration, which is one of the worst tasks known to man. Traffic on the Mass Pike does not mix well with a queasy stomach and a pounding headache –let me tell you.
But this time, we decided to spend an extra day visiting friends, who had also participated in a wedding the day before. A sorry sight we all were, eating takeout and watching football through half open eyes. We decided something good for us, nutritious and filling, comforting and cleansing was the way to recovery. A soup. Well, vegetables to be exact. After slowly destroying livers, it was necessary to balance out the equation with the restorative powers of vegetables.

Nothing says hearty, vegetable soup like a butternut squash soup. I like to make this fairly frequently during the winter, and it is very easy. It can be completely vegan and gluten free yet pleasing to even the most die-hard of carnivores. However, on this particular weekend, there were no Butternut squashes at the WholeFoods in Montclair. Which called for a plan B – anything But Butternut Soup.

Anything But Butternut Soup
You can make a “butternut-esque” style soup with any of your orange fleshed winter squashes. The most sweet and tender the squash when cooked, the better. We used a combination of Acorn, Delicata and Ambercup. I like the flavor best when you roast the squash first, then puree it -you keep all the best flavors of the squash intact.

3 c. cubed assorted yellow or orange fleshed winter squash
½ small onion, diced
1 Tb fresh thyme
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 Tb olive oil, divided
12 oz. vegetable or chicken stock (one carton)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut off the skin of the squash, scoop out the seeds and chop into 1”cubes. Toss with some salt, pepper and 1 Tb of olive oil, then spread onto a baking sheet and roast at 375° until tender – about 30-45 minutes.

Next heat 1 Tb olive oil in a sauté pan, add onions, thyme, and cayenne pepper cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 7- 10 minutes. One the squash is cooked, add half to the sauté pan with the onions, stirring to coat. Puree this mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth, then pour into a soup pot. Puree the other half of the squash, adding some stock as necessary if the squash is dry. Add this to the soup pot, and stir to combine.

At this point you will have a thick puree. Add vegetable or chicken stock while stirring until you reach a consistency you prefer. Heat over medium high heat until simmering and allow to simmer for about 7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. (I like to swirl in a little heavy cream or sour cream to add some richness, but this is optional).


  1. My bowls had a photo-op in the blog! :)

  2. What a great weekend! Soup looks good too =)


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