Thursday, October 6, 2011

A recipe for you on this blustery day

A little disclaimer: Unless I'm baking, I really don't measure out ingredients. I prefer pinches and dollops and palm-fulls. And I often cook based on ratios (half as much salt as sugar, etc.). I think the most important measuring tool in the kitchen is your taste buds. I taste often as I go and adjust accordingly. I've found that the more I practice cooking, the better I become at accurately adjusting an in-process meal based on taste. I can now ascertain if something needs more salt, sugar, spice, or vinegar/acid. Have you found the same to be true, or do you prefer to follow a faithful recipe?

With that in mind, here's an easy, seasonal, flavorful recipe for butternut squash soup. Many recipes call for roasting the squash, which you may certainly do, but I like the fresher, simpler taste of it when not cooked too much. This also makes for the most beautiful bright orange colored soup! I make a big pot and freeze the extra in jars. This will feed 4-6 people, but you can easily double it.

1 large or a few smaller butternut squash (you want about 3 pounds worth)
1 fat leek (or 2-3 skinny ones), sliced
3 Cups water
3 Cups milk (whole milk is best)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
About 1/2 Cup heavy cream to garnish

1. Peel the squash (not an easy feat when the squash isn't roasted, I know!)
2. Remove the seeds and any stringy parts
3. Cut into large chunks
4. Add to a large pot, along with the leeks, water, milk, and a generous amount of salt (i.e. a small palmful)
5. Bring to a boil
6. Lower the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the squash is tender enough to mash with a fork
7. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth
8. Finish with salt, pepper, and nutmeg
9. Taste. If it tastes bland, you likely need to add more salt
10. Add a drizzle of heavy cream and some more grated nutmeg if desired (I like a lot of nutmeg!) to each bowlful. Enjoy!


  1. I love that bright orange color of butternut squash soup (it is a household favorite!) So delightful and really seems to match a fall day.

    As to recipes and measuring: I can remember sort of detesting people that didn't measure. Matt (who taught me to cook 4 or 5 years ago) is that sort of cook. Little of this, little of that, taste, little more of this and voila! That was beyond my comprehension. It was frustrating too.

    However, I realized at one point this year that I easily "make up" as many meals as I follow a recipe for these days. I never thought I'd see the day! But, I too measure just about everything for baking.

  2. So nice to meet you, and thanks for sharing your experience! One glaring problem with not measuring is that it is sometimes hard for me to replicate a dish that turned out well the first time ;) Cooking is very much a learning process, though, isn't it?

  3. Sounds wonderful and perfect for the chilly nights that are now going to be visiting us here in Colordao. I am planning a Butternut Soap for this week too.

  4. That IS the biggest problem with that style of cooking. It never turns out quite the same....

    Oh well, no matter as long as it is still yummy.

    I just recently found your blog, but already enjoy it very much.

  5. Thank you so much! Very glad you're here.


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