Butternut Soup

In case it wasn’t obvious – I’ve taken quite a hiatus from blogging, for many reasons that I’ll discuss with you if you’re interested. But the main reason for this new post is simply because I had so many people asking for this recipe, it was easier just to type it out and post it here!

This recipe is husband-approved even though it’s vegetarian, and goes mouthwateringly with some buttery biscuits.

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Butternut Soup

(adapted from the Pampered Chef “Harvest Cream Soup” recipe.)

1 lb butternut squash, chopped into 1-inch pieces

2 leeks (white and light green portions), chopped in half lengthwise, and then into 2-inch pieces

1 lb (3 cups) baby carrots (or regular carrots, chopped into baby carrot sized pieces)

3 small gala apples, peeled and quartered

1 tbsp olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced (or more – I love garlic)

salt and coarsely ground black pepper

2 (14.5oz) cans (or 4 cups) vegetable or chicken broth

1 can (12oz) evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine squash, leeks, carrots, apples, oil and garlic in a large mixing bowl; toss to coat. Spread vegetables in a single layer in a large baking pan (I use a large jelly roll pan with the 1″ sides, but if you were desperate you could probably use a 13×9 and just stir the vegetables while they’re baking), sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Bake 40-45 minutes or until the mixture is tender and golden brown (don’t worry if some edges are a little burned – it doesn’t affect the soup).

In a blender or food processor, combine several scoops of vegetables with a portion of the broth. Word to the wise – never fill your blender more than half full when blending soup or other hot liquids, or you’re asking for soup all over your kitchen. Not good, especially when working with piping hot veggies.

Blend until smooth, transfer to a large soup pot, then repeat with the rest of the mixture and broth until you’ve used both up. Another word to the wise – the veggies won’t blend unless they’re mixed with broth, so make sure to portion out your broth accordingly. The quantities can be rough while you’re blending, because it’s all getting mixed into the same pot.

Add evaporated milk into the soup pot with the mixture; mix well. Cook over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

And serve! (Preferably with yummy, buttery biscuits.)

Side note: This makes a LOT of soup. About 6-8 healthy servings, depending on how much you eat. But, it freezes beautifully. I usually have it for dinner that night, leave one portion for the next day’s leftovers, then ladle the rest into mason jars for another day. Just treat it like a can of soup after thawing and heat it up.

One last side note: I discovered that I apparently had posted the original Harvest Cream soup a couple years ago, but that was prior to me tweaking it. Don’t use that recipe. Use this one. So much better with apples!

Enjoy, friends!

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It starts.

First it was a cool breeze on a hot day that caught my attention.

Then the nights got chilly.

A few leaves started turning a brilliant shade of red.

And before I knew it, it seemed that fall had just about arrived in our neighborhood.

Which means I am the happiest person on the face of the planet.

Brinkley doesn’t mind either, because the switch in the weather has brought on a new wave of stinkbugs that are infiltrating our house. He’s currently stalking the ones on the ceiling in my studio with reckless abandon.

Since we’re in a new house, decorating for autumn presents a bit more of a challenge this year, and I’m taking it a few steps at a time.

Wreaths were where I decided to begin. I’ve never been much of a wreath-maker, but fall colors make it pretty easy to throw something together.

Here are mine this year. I should note that including the cost of the grapevine wreaths, I didn’t spend more than $8 on either of these, including the ribbon. Not too shabby!

 
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How are your autumn decorations coming along?

Merry Monday – Outdoor Inspirations

In my quest to find things I enjoy about living Baltimore, the drive to our church in Hunt Valley is rapidly encroaching on my list of favorite things. Hunt Valley is roughly half an hour north of the city right off of Interstate 83, which if you keep going takes you straight into Pennsylvania and Amish country. The Towson/Hunt Valley area is absolutely stunning – rolling hills, horse farms, and the epitome of tidy suburbia.

Our drive to church yesterday morning was especially gorgeous. The early morning sun and blue skies were glistening on a nice heavy frost, and the rolling hills were in every stage of gold and orange imaginable.

I’m not sure if we treasure this type of scenery because we don’t normally get to see it (I’m not sure I can think of a patch of grass anywhere remotely near our apartment), or if it was because the morning was particularly beautiful, but it got me to daydreaming about outdoor decorations for fall.

I feel like everyone decorates for Halloween and for Christmas, but what about the days in between? And to me, this is one of the loveliest times to decorate, because everything you need is in abundance in most people’s backyards.

If we actually had outdoor access to our apartment, these would be my inspiration boards this year.

Source: bhg.com via Megan on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Megan on Pinterest

 

Also – you all need to check out this adorable autumn decor post by Joy Ever After. Low budget, simple, and lovely. The picture below is taken from the post, just as an idea. I’m in love.

Source: joyeverafter.squarespace.com via Megan on Pinterest

This is what I’m dreaming of this week. A front porch to set plump pumpkins and mums on, and a cheery wreath to welcome friends.

How are you decorating your outdoors for fall this year? Do you have any traditions that make your entrance especially warm and friendly to holiday guests?

Merry Monday everyone!