Brrrr! Winter seems to have arrived early here in Boston, and the transition from California has been a jarring one. To fend off further illness, warm up, and to add some much-needed nutrition to our diets, I spent yesterday cooking.
The morning was spent on bread, made from the King Arthur Flour Brown Sugar Cinnamon Yeast Bread Mix while listening to Christmas songs. As I have mentioned, I am supposed to be spending November on a hiatus from work or job-hunting, but relaxing is not easy for me and while I have had some great days off, I was starting to get a little antsy about the future yesterday. However, while kneading the bread dough in a quiet house next to a warm oven with music on in the background, I kind of “got” what this rare time is about. It was a nice moment of letting go, and I felt energized for the first time in a long time.
Inspired by Tyler Florence’s Butternut Squash and Apple Soup from the Foodbuzz Festival Tasting Pavilion and the withering apples we bought before we left, I headed to the store for ingredients to make my own version of the soup.
1 large butternut squash, 1 large fennel bulb, 2 yellow onions, 4 apples
I sliced the butternut squash, onions, and apples, and placed them in the oven at 450.
Then I washed the outside of the fennel bulb, chopped off the tops, and sliced it into thin strips. I soaked the strips in a pot of cold water to get any of the sandy soil off. I also ate about 1/4 of the fennel raw. I can not get enough of it’s refreshing crunch!
I sautéed the fennel in a bit of olive oil and tossed in a chopped habanero, seeds and all. Trust me, once everything goes in it won’t be very spicy at all. It just adds balance to the sweetness of the rest of the ingredients.
I roasted the onions until browned around the edges and very soft.
And the apples a little too long! They were fine, but the lovely juice I had hoped to use in the soup turned into caramel.
Once everything was roasted, I added it to the pot with the fennel and habanero and poured in a container of Trader Joe’s Organic Veggie Broth.
As it bubbled away, I used my immersion blender (LOVE) to make it nice and smooth.
The soup simmered for a couple of hours, and when it came to serve it, I added a creamy touch, Crème Fraiche with curry.
Other than the Crème Fraiche, this recipe is vegan, and it packs a flavorful punch that vegans and meat-eaters alike would love.
And it provided a dose of healthy, seasonal produce that we so desperately needed!
I am going to try to attend a yoga class and to go for a walk today. I need to start marathon training, but after being sick for so long, I think it’s smart to walk before I run!
Any tips for letting go and tuning out for this high-strung blogger?