Monday, October 6, 2014

My Recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

October has arrived and autumn is upon us! You know what that means, right?   It's soup season! The cooler temperatures have me craving homemade soup, so a few days ago I made my favorite - butternut squash soup!  This time, however, I did something different.  I roasted the squash in the oven beforehand, instead of cubing it and boiling it into the soup like I've done in the past.  Roasting the squash really brings out the flavor.  I will definitely be preparing it this way from now on.

I love roasted butternut squash and thus, was unable to stop myself from sneaking a few bites before scooping the flesh into the soup!  I took inspiration from a multitude of recipes and adapted this one to my liking.  The soup turned out delicious; my husband hasn't stopped talking about it since!   I was asked to share the recipe, so here it is:

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup 

Makes 6-8 hearty servings . You can half the recipe to make less, of course!


2 medium butternut squash 
1/4 cup butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
up to 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper (more or less depending how spicy you like it)
salt to taste 
1 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz)


  • Half squash lengthwise; remove seeds and stringy pulp.  Roast cut-side down on a foil-wrapped baking pan at 400F for approx. 45 minutes, or until fully cooked and soft.  Allow to cool. Scoop the flesh out and reserve. The two squash should render six cups of flesh, more or less.
  • In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic.  Sautee until onion is translucent. 
  • Add chicken broth, reserved butternut squash, black pepper and cayenne pepper to the onion mixture. 
  • Take care with the cayenne pepper!  I added 1/4 tsp because we like our soup a little spicy.  If you don't care for spicy, then just a pinch will do! 
  •  Raise heat and bring to a boil.  Taste the soup for salt and adjust to your liking.  You may need to add a teaspoon or two of salt, depending on how much salt your chicken broth contains.  Continue to simmer soup for approximately 15 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat.  Break up the cream cheese and add to the soup. The cream cheese is what gives this soup its delicious, creamy texture.  DO NOT BOIL THE CREAM CHEESE! 
  • Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth and creamy, making sure to blend in all the cheese and butternut squash.  If you don't own an immersion blender, you can place the soup in a food processor (in batches) and pulse until smooth and creamy and return to the pot. 

If you want to make the soup look pretty, like I did,  add some sour cream to a plastic squeeze bottle and dilute it with a bit of milk.  Shake and decorate any way you like!  

If you do try this recipe at home, I would love to know how it turns out!  Your comments are always appreciated. 

 Happy Monday, friends!  Wishing you all a happy, cozy week ahead! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

All the Magic and Splendor of Autumn

Hello friends!  Let me start off by wishing you a happy October and a fun, festive fall!  I am so fond of the changing seasons. Each holds its own beauty, no doubt, but for me, the most special of all is autumn.  Nothing can quite compare to the landscape of glowing red, orange, and yellow maple leaves in the autumnal light. Ahhh,  the nip in the air, sweater weather, the smell of wood smoke, cozy fires, apples, and pumpkins!  Who can resist pumpkin season? I know I can't.  Pumpkin spice anything is fine by me!

Last Friday, Nuno, took an unexpected day off work.  Our girls didn't have school that day and the local fall color report listed that the foliage at Algonquin Park was at its peak for viewing, sooo my darling husband whisked us off for a surprise overnight getaway!  If you've never heard of Algonquin Park, I can tell you that it's probably the most famous provincial park in Ontario, as well as one of the best places to admire fall foliage at its peak.  Tourists come from all over the world at this time of year to see the vibrant red and sugar maples of this region.  We are lucky we live just a wee two-hour drive away.  It makes for a perfect day trip!

I would love to take you along on our leaf peeping drive through Algonquin Park.  Would you like to join us?  There's plenty of room for all!   Nuno will drive and all we have to do is sit back and enjoy the scenery.  It's a perfect day for it; endless blue skies and warm sunshine!  You don't even need to bring your sweater; just a pair of comfortable walking shoes.  Have I convinced you?  Yes?  Well then, hop in and make yourself comfortable.  Here we gooooo!

The fall colors along both sides of the Highway 60 Corridor are so vibrant!

And through the magic of the Internet...

Here we are at the park gate, safe and sound.  Yippee!  Let's get out and have a little stretch.  That's better.  Let's make our way, shall we?

Our first stop is less than 10 km into the park.  Look at this view!  Doesn't it take your breath away? The lake is so still and smooth as glass. The sky is the prettiest shade of blue and the fall colors are spectacular, don't you agree?

Look at this splendid scene!  It looks like something out of the cover of a magazine!

I am in awe of the magnificent backdrops that surround us here!

We should probably stop a while to fully appreciate the view.  It looks like our driver has found a perfect little spot to cast his line.  

Follow us as we hike the 2 km Lookout Trail   It's a steep climb to the top, but the scenic lookout promises to be well worth it!

And so it is!  We're up so high!  Careful! Don't get too close to the edge of the cliff!
Ahh!  This incredible vista was worth the effort, don't you think?

We should probably head on back to the car now.  My feet are getting tired and I'm sure yours are too!  Thank you so much for coming along with me.  I had such a good time!  I hope you did, too!