There’s more serious stuff I should probably be writing about, but I just started on a new team at work and it’s ridiculously stressful and I would rather focus on calming fun things right now instead. Like cooking! It’s not quite Autumn yet (and here in Florida it doesn’t even remotely feel like it’s even close to Autumn yet) but it’s close enough for wishful thinking, so I made a delicious Autumn-y soup-and-bread meal the other night. If anybody would like deliciousness, the recipes are below the cut.
Delicious Butternut Squash Soup!
Here’s what you need:
- 1 butternut squash, roughly 3 lbs-ish
- Half a sweet onion, diced
- Shredded carrot, diced sweet potato, any other orangey vegetable that you think would taste good with butternut squash
- Some butter (or oil if you wanna be vegan)
- A 32 oz box of chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you wanna be vegetarian)
- Sour cream or greek yogurt (optional, and non-vegan, obvs)
- A stove
- An oven and a cookie sheet
- A blender
- A stockpot (or other large pot that you can cook a lot of soup in) and a large mixing bowl
Here’s what you need to do!
- Preheat the oven to 425
- Toss the onion and carrot (etc.) into a stockpot with some butter and sauté it until the onion is translucent
- While you’re doing that, cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and strings in the middle (like when you’re getting ready to carve a pumpkin), and place it on the cookie sheet, cut side down
- At roughly the same time, pour the broth over the veggies and pop the cookie sheet into the oven. Turn down the heat on the stove to a simmer and set the timer for 45 minutes. Go watch an episode of your favorite show.
- When the timer dings, take the squash out of the oven and turn them over. Give them a few minutes to cool so you don’t burn your hands. (Or don’t and live dangerously I guess.) Scoop out the yummy orange part (basically everything but the rind) and dump it into the pot with the broth, onions, and carrots. (Some of it will be squishy and some won’t, that’s ok.)
- Add a whole bunch of seasonings! You can get creative here 😀 I personally like to use adobo, coriander, onion powder, and a little bit of turmeric. I usually add white pepper too but we were out so I used chili powder and it was delicious.
- Let it all cook together for a bit. Make good use of this time by washing the cookie sheet. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
- Now here’s the fun part: run it through your blender in small batches. How small the batch depends on your blender. Blend until it’s smooth, then pour each finished batch into a big bowl. Once you’ve blended all of it, wash out the pot and then pour all the soup back into it (scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula to get it all.) It should be orange and thick and gloppy and look creamy even though there is no cream in in. Keep the pot covered and on warm until you’re ready to eat it.
- CLEAN THE BOWL AND THE BLENDER I am not even kidding you will thank me later.
- Eat it with a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt and maybe some fresh-baked bread!
(note: you can also get away with cutting the rind off the squash, cubing it up, and letting it simmer in the broth along with the onions and carrots. I personally am always afraid I’m going to chop my fingers off, and it makes getting the stringy seed bits out harder, so I like the oven method, but to each their own.)
Delicious Hazelnut-Sesame Seed Wheat Bread!!!
Here’s what you need!
- ¾ cup water
- 3/8 cup milk (so basically a little less than half a cup if you don’t feel like mathing)
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into pieces (there may be a way to make this recipe vegan but I don’t know it)
- 2 ¼ c all purpose flour or bread flour
- ¾ c wheat flour
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds (I didn’t have a full tablespoon but it was still good)
- ¼ c hazelnut meal (this is found on the fancy aisle of the grocery store. It’s a little expensive but a little goes a long way, so if you like adding hazelnut to baked goods a bag will last you a while)
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp gluten flour (found in the same place and with the same caveats as the hazelnut. It’s optional but really helps the texture of the bread.)
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 2 ½ tsp bread machine yeast
Also you need a bread machine. (Again I’m sure there’s a way to make this the old fashioned way but I haven’t experimented with it – if anybody reads this and tries it and it comes out good, give us the instructions in the comments! My kitchen is too small to knead bread dough, but once upon a time it was a skill I possessed!)
Here’s what you need to do!
Put all the liquid and oily pieces into the bread machine pan first. Then pile the dry ingredients on top, starting with the flour. Make a little indentation in the dry ingredients and put the yeast there. (If your bread machine is weird and has different instructions then of course go with those.)
Put it in the bread machine and set it to white (not wheat) bread with a light crust, then start it up. Listen for when it goes into the kneading cycle; peek inside carefully. It should look like a ball of dough getting the shit kicked out of it. If it’s still really floury, add some water. If it’s sticky and getting smeared on the walls, add a little bit of flour. If it looks perfect tiptoe away and let it do its thing.
About 3 hours later, voila – bread! Cut it up and eat it. (All bread is best fresh but this one especially so invite someone over to help you eat it if you need to :D)
And there you go! I would have included pictures but I ate it all too fast, sorry!