Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Fall walks and cozy nights by the fire ... throw in Prince Charming and we've got one heck of a splendid evening ...

The weather has FINALLY started to turn. The mornings are cooler, the evenings cooler still. The leaves crunch beneath our feet and as I type this entry I'm out "in the country" staring out at a forest, the colours of the leaves still clinging to the trees, look like fire. We clap our hands wildly in anticipation of woolly sweaters, scarves, fireside cuddles and mugs of steaming hot soup. Dear readers, grab yourself a blankie, stoke the fire, and cuddle up with your fav. book (dog, cat, better half, whatever or whomever) – this soup was made for sippin’. Embrace the shorter days ... winter fast approaches ... I think it just started to snow!!! 
Pureed Squash and Apple Soup

There is a 'variation' to this recipe ... I call it "Cinderella Soup".  Why Cinderella?  Well, on the most recent go-round of this recipe I had a little pumpkin sitting on the counter.  It stared at me.  I stared back.  I thought, perhaps this pumpkin could join it's cousin the butternut squash in the roasting pan.  And TADA Cinderella Soup was born!  So, if you're running late for the ball, missing a glass slipper, or have a horse-drawn carriage 'honking' outside your front door, please know, dear reader, that this recipe can bubble along quite nicely in a crock pot while you busy yourself trying to score a dance with Prince Charming.  Bibbity-bobbity-BOO!
You will need: sharp knife, cutting board, Y-vegetable peeler (or other peeler … Y is our fav.), food processor or blender- up to you, roasting pan, soup pot, measuring cups n spoons, fireplace, glass of red wine and something JAZZY playing in the background …  

· 1 cup butternut squash, peeled and diced into one inch cubes
· 1 cup apples (we used Macintosh apples), peeled, cored and sliced into 'chunks' ... maybe quarters or eighths depending on the size of the apple … use your judgment, it’s soup, we’re not trying to split the atom
· 1 cup sweet white onion, peeled and diced (Vidalia or white onion … would a large cooking onion work, yup – but if you happen to have a sweeter one on hand it’ll be that much better)
· 4 TBSP butter (we used salted)
· 1L chicken stock – or a 900ml 'box' of organic chicken stock (we’ve used the Imagine chicken stock tetra pack box in a pinch) - unless you've got homemade stock in your freezer, use that - we prefer homemade stock ‘cause you can control the sodium and we’re stock-making-junkies … LEAVE NO BONE UNTURNED! If you're vegetarian or vegan, I'm SURE a vegetable stock would be just lovely too!
· salt n pepper to taste
· Nutmeg (one 'large'ish pinch')
Note: if you're making the Cinderella Soup version, you'll also need a pumpkin (peeled and diced), and a little more chicken stock/vegetable stock  -  enough to bring it to the consistency you like in a soup.
What to Do:
1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Put the squash, (and pumpkin if you're using one), apples and onion all in a roasting pan (you CAN just chuck it all in a crock pot too, but the roasted/caramalized bits are SO delish when you go the roasting route!).
3. Season everything with salt, pepper and nutmeg and then we 'dotted' everything with the butter ... maybe teaspoons 'drop sized' chunks of butter.
4. Roast 'til everything is soft n mushy ... pour yourself a glass of wine, and walk away – total ‘cook time -maybe an hour or so … depends on how hot your oven is, check after 45 minutes. (Isn't this just SUCH a technical recipe?)
5. Remove from oven. Puree the contents of the roasting pan in a blender or food processor ... process/puree ‘til smoooooth.
6. Add splash of chicken stock if you need to 'thin it out' (ie if it’s super thick).
7. In a stockpot, put the puréed veggie-mix, and add the chicken stock.
8. Bring to a boil.
9. Once it comes to a boil, turn it to simmer.
10. We let our soup 'bubble' for ... well ... another hour maybe? (Roughly one more glass of wine, if you’re cooking with a loved one add three silly stories with 15 minutes of laughter thrown in for good measure!)
11. Strain the contents of the soup pot thru a fine mesh sieve if you want it really creamy ... we used a food strainer (but you could totally just bash it around in a sieve to achieve the same effect ...)
This recipe EASILY doubles, triples, quadruples … whatever comes after that …and it freezes really nicely, which is always a wonderful thing. If you’re feeling fancy serve in individual tea cups with a 'dot' of crème fraiche and a sprinkle of chives.  And if you're bringing some to the ball for Prince Charming, well, might as well pack a bottle of champagne too, for he's sure to ask for your hand in marriage after tasting this soup.  Let us know if you and the Prince need your wedding planned or catered, I'm sure we can fit you into our schedule.  Who needs a fairy God Mother when you've got the ShortStackFoodie on speed dial :) 



  1. Making some of Cinderella's soup this afternoon!! Can't wait.

    1. Hooray! Perfect weekend for cinderella soup :) Hope it turned out ... before the pumpkin turned into a carriage I mean. :)