This precious time to myself gives me a chance to regroup, relax, and cook/bake more. I love fall cooking, and wouldn't be able to do so this time of year in Aussie land (there summer is approaching). I'm thankful to taste all four seasons before I depart.
This weekend I cooked up a storm! My kitchen was toasty warm from the oven and my house smelled like sweet butternut squash and cinnamon sticks all weekend long. I also signed up for a vegan 'soups and stews' cooking class at WholeFoods, which takes place in mid-November. I'm excited to learn some new tricks and techniques... perhaps how to easily cut a butternut squash (which would have come in handy yesterday afternoon). Those babies are rock solid, with a thick and stubborn skin to peel! I never thought I'd get to scooping the guts, but I did. Victory.
Fresh (one of my favourite vegetarian/vegan restaurants in Toronto), so I decided to roll up my sleeves and whip up something of my own.
Butternut squash, apple spice, and carrot soup
Inspired by Emily at The Front Burner
- 1/2 large white onion
- 1 butternut squash
- 3 long carrots
- 2 organic gala apples (I bet pink lady or honey crisp would be good too)
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp nutmeg
- 1-2 small bay leafs
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp EVOO
- 1/4 cup almond or hemp milk (optional)
Cubing the carrots and apples was a lot easier ;)
Start by peeling/cubing the squash ("how to" directions here), apple, and carrot, and set aside. Chop up your onion and add to a big soup pot, with a little olive oil. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until soft and golden. Then add your squash/apple/carrot mixture and begin to stir in the veggie broth. Cook and cover for about 10 minutes, then add in your spices! Simmer for another 15-25 minutes. It'll smell incredible right about now. Once your veggies get soft and begin to break down, it's time to blend! It's easiest to use a handheld blender (mine was broken, doh!) or a regular blender. If you're using a regular blender, you may have to do several batches. If it's an older blender, be careful of the hot mixture splattering or damaging your blender. I actually forgot to add the almond milk and it was perfect!
Once it's all blended up, you'll have something like this. Add a dash of cinnamon on top and enjoy! This soup really hit the spot. Alex, you would have liked this.
One month-ish to go before Alex is home for the holidays =) Till then, I'm sending an ocean sized love.
[NYC, October, 2009]
[Christmas Eve, 2009]
And it might seem much too far, to get back to where you are
But it's close enough, with an ocean size love
So if you can't reach out to me, send a sign across the sea
And I'll pick it up, with an ocean size love