A lot has happened since I last wrote on this blog. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve moved to San Francisco with my best friend, Allie, for a job in city. Moving here has been a complete whirlind of chaos and excitement and sheer happiness. Our apartment is finally becoming the cozy nest of comfort that we always imagined our post-collegiate living situation would be, and thus we are starting to feel like “true San Franciscans”. Every time I gaze upon the magnificence that is the Golden Gate Bridge on a beautiful day, I thank my lucky stars for the opportunity to try something new in a new place with new people.
The other perk of finally gaining a tiny bit of normalcy to my life is that I am finally able to start cooking again. Cooking again means blogging again, and I am very excited to blog about this amazing Butternut Squash Soup I made tonight.
After talking to a friend of mine about how I wanted to cook up something healthy with the butternut squash I’d bought. He then mentioned a recipe he’d concocted for Butternut Squash soup. I had to try it! Here’s how:
Makes approximately 4-6 servings
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 onion
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- coconut oil (1-2 tbspn)
- cream cheese (approx. 4 oz)
- chicken or veggie broth (1.5 cups)
Approx 50 Min: The largest time consuming part of this process is the preparation of the butternut squash. For that, you will have to cut it down the middle, scoop out the seeds, and place face down on a slightly greased baking sheet. Then, just bake at 350°F for about 45 minutes, or until the thickest parts of the butternut squash are soft when cut with a knife. You’ll have to let it cool, too, which will take another 10 or 15 minutes. I highly recommend doing this the night before to speed up the overall cooking process. Unless you have 2 hours to kill tonight, in which case never mind.
Once it has cooled, use a spoon to scoop out the delicious squash flesh from its skin, and put aside in a dish or bowl. The skin will be a little limp and easy to tear at this point, so it might get a little messy. But it’s worth it.
With baked squash available, start chopping up all of your ingredients. If I had this kitchen-
But since my kitchen is about the size of a large closet or a small, small bedroom, it is IMPERATIVE to prepare. So, start chopping.
Approx 2 Min: Since we are going to blend everything in the end, it is not imperative to chop these finely. Large chunks are just fine, especially since they help to prevent things from burning while sautéing. If you’re a dicing enthusiast, though, go and ahead and chop to your heart’s content.
Approx 5 Min: Next start roasting over the open the fire (it’s December, I HAD to say it) the coconut oil, onions, and garlic. By roasting over the open fire, I mean in a sauté pan over medium heat. You’ll want to turn down the heat once the cooking process starts as the garlic and smaller pieces of onion will begin to burn if you aren’t careful. The coconut oil was a last minute decision of mine, and I am VERY glad I made it. The coconut adds such a sultry, sweet, tangy finish to the onions and garlic! When I blended it all later, it made the perfect side note in the taste.
Approx 30 Sec: To help liquify the soup and give it a little bit of extra zing, you’ll need to add a liquid like chicken or vegetable stock.
“Chicken stock in a vegetarian soup? That’s heresy!” you might think to yourself.
I don’t know about heresy, but it was all I had. And truthfully, I think it melded well with the onions and garlic that you add. But for those of you who want something more mellow, or are actually vegetarian, use vegetable stock instead. Or, if you prefer neither, use water. Or milk. Or cream. Or something else liquid that won’t ruin this entirely (like coffee). Once you’ve prepared the liquid of choice, put it aside.
Approx 10 Min: Now that all of the various ingredients are collected, prepared, savored, and admired, it’s time to begin blending them together. If you have a large, industrial sized blender, then you should be fine blending it all in one go.
Since I have a rather small, personal sized blender to go with my rather small, personal sized kitchen, I had to break the ingredients into 3 parts to blend in smaller doses.
If your blender is as small as mine, take the first portion of the squash, stock, onions and garlic, and cream cheese. Then, blend to your heart’s content. I have to admit, watching all of the these ingredients get blended into a whirlpool of creamy, beautifully orange goodness was a joy in and of itself.
Approx 10 Sec of Bliss: Then, just pour into a vessel for storage, heat back up whatever you want to eat on the stove or in the microwave, and enjoy!
If you care for it, you can add a fantastic garnish like cilantro or parsley. Or you can just dig in and stuff your face. The choice…is yours.
For me, I chose to savor this moment- a moment of delicious soup eating, and a moment of satisfaction. Life has been absolutely chaotic for me, but never in a bad way. More of in a crazy, nonstop, not-too-sure-what’s-happening-next kind of way. I normally relish the thrill of always being busy, of always having something to do. Will I do well at work? Probably. Will I finally finish putting together my apartment? Supposedly. Will I find a cute guy who wants to cook with me and watch all of my geeky shows with me? Gosh, I sure hope so.
And the endless uncertainty goes on and on. But in that moment, I felt like I had an opportunity to just relax and to enjoy being where I am in life. Things will always be looming on the horizon, waiting to plague me with constant outcome-comparing and decision-making. Enjoying that soup in the quiet of my apartment after a busy day was heavenly.
Here’s to hoping that this soup brings you a moment of quiet and satisfaction and happiness.