I’ve already shared the amazing caesar salad I had at Il Cane Rosso on my last trip to San Francisco. I finally got around to making the other part of that delicious lunch. It was love at first bite (Slurp? Spoonful?) with this soup. I liked the added chili oil drizzle so much that I stopped by Stonehouse Olive Oil after lunch and promptly bought some chili oil so I could make the soup when I got home. The soup came out so brown that you can barely see the chili oil drizzle on top, but I swear it’s there. I let the vegetables get a little too roasted. They would have been the perfect side dish, nice and crispy, but the extra brown color didn’t help the color of the soup.
This soup is so simple to make. The most involved part is chopping and peeling the butternut squash, which can be easily fixed with pre-cut, but I finally discovered a faster way to peel and chop. The vegetable peeler! Had the skin off in no time and made the whole process much easier. The soup is completely vegan. I added some queso fresco I needed to use up to add a little flavor and texture. Definitely not necessary though.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Chili Oil
1 large butternut squash
2 large yellow onions
6+ garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
chili infused extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400°F. With a sharp knife slice both ends off the butternut squash. Remove the skin off the squash.
Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds of both halves. Then cut the squash into cubes and place in a large bowl. Set aside.
After peeling and cutting the ends of the onion, slice into large cubes. Place the onion in the same bowl as the squash. Peel the garlic cloves and place in the bowl.
To the squash, onions, and garlic add the olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Mix to evenly coat the vegetables with the herbs.
Pour everything in a roasting pan or baking dish. Place in the oven for 50 minutes to an hour until the squash is very tender.
Place the roasted squash, onions and garlic in the blender. Add 2 cups of the vegetable broth and blend on high until smooth. About one minute.
Pour mixture into a large soup pot over medium heat and add the remaining 3 cups of broth. Stir and heat until combined. Top with 1 teaspoon of chili oil per bowl and crumbled queso fresco. Serve.
For some reason I always ignore the recipes that come on the packaging of food. I bought some hot Italian turkey sausages last week. I really had no clue what to do with them, but they were on sale, so it seemed like a good idea at the time. As I was attempting to figure out how to even cook the things, I noticed a recipe on the back of the package. Surprisingly it actually sounded pretty delicious. I had nearly everything on hand, so I went for it.
I was very pleasantly surprised about how this turned out. It was great. The mustard dressing really complemented the flavors of the sausage and the roasted vegetables. The original recipe called for sweet potatoes instead of butternut squash. Either one works. I also think that this salad would be a great way to use up leftover veggies and turkey from Thanksgiving, so keep it in mind for later in the month…
Butternut Squash & Turkey Salad Adapted from Jennie-O
For the Mustard Dressing
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper, if desired
For the Salad
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3/4 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 large onion, cut into chunks
salt and freshly ground pepper, if desired
1 package Hot Italian Turkey Sausage
4 cups mixed baby lettuce leaves
1/2 cup smoked almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
To Make the Dressing
Put oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, and salt and pepper, in a jar or bowl; shake or mix until well combined.
To Make the Salad
Heat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Combine oil, butternut squash, onion and salt and pepper, if desired, on prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Roast, uncovered, in preheated oven, turning once during cooking, for 30 to 40 minutes until tender and golden.
Cook the turkey as specified on the package. Slice links into 1/4 inch rounds. Put butternut squash, onion, turkey, lettuce, and almonds in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss gently to coat.
This recipe is not one that I had planned out making. It kind of just happened. I bought some sirloin to make this delicious sounding recipe I found over the weekend and then I lost the recipe… Typical. Beef is not something I normally cook, mainly because I just can’t get it right, it’s either too rare or too burnt well done. It usually just seems like too much of a hassle and waste of money when all is said and done. When I do cook with beef it is generally a stew or a stroganoff type of deal that can’t be messed up by the doneness of the meat. I can totally screw it up in other ways, but it won’t be the beef’s fault. Since I lost my original recipe, I turned to the internets. I am currently obsessed with Google’s recipe search that lets you filter by ingredients. It’s genius. I mainly filter by everything I hate first (celery is always the first to go) and hope that the end results turn up something good. That’s where the inspiration for this little gem of a recipe came from.
It also seemed rather autumnal (I’m still using it every chance I get!). I think my effort to force fall into existence is slowly working. It was below 70/21 yesterday for the first time in as long as I can remember (I will just ignore the fact that it’s going to be way above 80/27 this weekend…). If I cook it, fall will come!
This is just a random aside, but important in cutting down the amount of time preparation might take. I never understood why so many vegetables are sold pre-cut until making this. Do yourself a huge favor if you are going to make this; buy a pre-cut butternut squash. Prepping this took nearly an hour (53 minutes to be exact)! I had never cut up a butternut squash before, so that was half the battle. If you have been reading my blog with anything vaguely resembling regularity, you might also remember that knives and I do not have the best working relationship and I seem to be losing fingers or limbs on a fairly regular basis. So the butternut squash also had to be approached with great caution. Even though I still look down on most pre-cut vegetables, the pre-cut butternut squash has forever earned a place in my heart.
Beef and Butternut Squash Stew
1½ pounds lean stewing beef, trimmed of excess fat
1 medium butternut squash
1 large onion, sliced
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces baby carrots left whole
2 (14.5) ounce can diced tomatoes
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ Tablespoon smoked paprika
½ Tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Brown beef in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Put to one side. Peel and half butternut squash, then cut into 1-1½ inch pieces. Place vegetables and browned beef in a 4 or 5 quart crockpot. Add crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, garlic, thyme and oregano. Cook on low for 8 hours.
I am sure at some point over the years, I have had butternut squash, but I can’t really remember. Clearly it didn’t make that much of an impression. This dish definitely made an impression. I figured with goat cheese, hazelnuts and leeks, regardless of what the butternut squash is like, there was no way it could be bad. It was absolutely delicious.
You can and should start this dish early. There isn’t lot of work involved, but it takes a bit of time. A lot of the work can be done the day before and then you just need to do the final bake before serving.
3 1/2 pounds butternut squash (about 2 medium), peeled, seeded, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes (8 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
3 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 5.5-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place butternut squash cubes and olive oil in large bowl; sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and ground pepper and toss to coat. Spread out squash cubes on large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until just tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add sliced leeks and chopped sage; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until tender but not brown, about 15 minutes. Coat 11×7-inch baking dish with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Spread half of leek mixture over bottom of prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with half of squash and half of cheese. Repeat layering with leeks, squash, and cheese. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Pour cream evenly over gratin. Sprinkle with toasted chopped hazelnuts. Bake uncovered until gratin is heated through and cream is bubbling, about 30 minutes (40 minutes if previously chilled).