Sunday, December 28, 2008

Winter Squash Soup

The famous film maker Francis Ford Coppola makes some very delish wines. His Rubicon Estates in California produces some of his very best stuff and this 04 Cask Cab is no different. This wine is a classic, grand style American cabernet and loaded with cherry and raisin scents.

Easy to drink wine for a weeknight meal. YUM-O!

When November was behind me and it was time to redecorate my kitchen table from Fall to Winter I reused my kitchen table centerpiece to create a familiar dinner starter. These golden vegetables made a really lovely winter squash soup and I found the perfect recipe for it in Bon Appetit from December 1996. Geez, in 96 I was a junior in high school working at Papa Johns Pizza and dancing on my high school drill team. I’m pretty sure at the time I would not have been able to pick out a butternut squash in a vegetable line up.

I don’t remember what these cost me back in October/November but just today I was in my local grocery store and they had butternut squash on sale for $99 a lb, not bad. I just love soup, and like to eat it year around but there is just something about the one cold month we experience in Texas that makes me want to slurp up soup all 30 of those chilly days. It warms you from the inside out!

So here we go, a super easy and nutritious soup which made a great first course for several of my home cooked dinners and was a filling lunch for me when paired with a grilled chicken sandwich.

This recipe is adapted from Bon Appétit, December 1996. The ingredients are:
1/2 stick butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
38 ounces chicken broth
1 butternut squash
1 acorn squash
1 carnival squash
1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoons dry sage
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sugar
I start by roasting my squash. First slice in half and clean out the seeds and guts – discard. If you wanted to toast the squash seeds you could do it like you would pumpkin seeds, I haven't tried it but read that this could be done.

Next, place the squash on a baking sheet face down with a quarter of an inch of water. Bake in 350 oven for 45 minutes.

Once flesh is soft, scoop out into a bowl – discard skins.
Melt butter in large pot over medium heat.

Add onion and sauté for five minutes.

Add garlic and sauté for another five minutes.

When the onion is translucent and the garlic is smelling so good your mouth is watering, take a sip of your wine and lets add the rest of the ingredients.

First add chicken broth.

Add all the cooked and softened squash.

Ground thyme.

Dry sage.

Ground cumin.

Ground ginger.

Ground cinnamon.

Bring this to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and let it simmer about 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes the squash is very tender.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Now that I received a KitchenAid immersion blender from Jim (for Christmas, woo hoo!) I wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of transferring the hot soup.

However you can do it, purree the soup until smooth.

Return to the same pot on your stovetop.

Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Give it a taste test and season with salt, pepper and if you need it...more cinnamon and ginger.

When you get the flavor just right, ladle into bowls and serve warm.

This can be made ahead and chilled in the fridge for a week. It kept really well for me and tasted great reheated.


  1. Hi Mandy, I'm such a huge fan. This is my first time commenting on a site. Your blog oozes happiness. Being from California and my love for all things Food and Wine, You and your style is very much how I live my life.. Refreshing : )

  2. Grr. My comment was eaten by the big bad internetmonster! I'm so glad you got an immersion blender for Christmas. I seriously can't live without mine. Good job to your honey! Second, that soup looks wonderful.

  3. Val, What a sweet sweet comment. Thank you for taking the time to say so on my site. When I visit California I feel like I was meant to live there... but waoh, not sure I could afford it. I do love life and I'm happy to hear that it comes across on this blog. Thanks Val!

    Cat, Yes I do love my immersion blender. I've used it to blend up some homemade chipotle bbq sauce and it worked GREAT! Jim did good!

  4. WHOA girl, you are a young wipper snapper...1996 you were high school??? Dang I'm old...I'm class of 1989. Long live the 80's and that soup...YUMMY!

  5. That looks amazing! I graduated High School in 2003 and I couldn't pick one out until about 6 months ago!


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