Sometimes I have thought about what to open that night before 8am...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Today's Forecast

This weekend was beautiful: bright clear sun, 45 degrees... it felt like spring. Today? Well, it is suppose to be snowing in less than an hour. I guess that is one of the joys of living in New England. You never know what the day will bring!

When it feels like snow, I immediately want to make soup. Warm up the house, warm up the tummies! I am currently obsessed with one soup in particular. It is called Golden Winter Soup and it comes from Cooking Light. I swear by Cooking Light. I read the magazine cover to cover every month, and I troll the website when I am looking for specific things. Their food is delicious, and HEALTHY! It is a great resource for feeding your family, making dinner for two, or when you are entertaining.

Back to the soup. The Golden Winter Soup is 9 ingredients, takes about 30 minutes to assemble, and tastes like you spent the day slaving over the hot stove.

Golden Winter Soup
Cooking Light Magazine
January 2008

2 tbsp butter
5 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1.5 lbs)
2 cups cubed peeled russet potato (about 12oz)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
2 cups sliced leeks (about 2 medium)
4 cups vegetable broth *
1 cup half and half
chopped chives for garnish

Melt butter in a large Dutch Oven. Add squash, potato, salt and pepper to pan. Saute 3 minutes. Add leek saute 1 minute. Stir in broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally.**

Place half of potato mixture into a blender.*** Remove the center piece, put a clean towel over the top, and puree until smooth. Pour into a bowl. Repeat the procedure with second half of potato mixture. Stir in half and half. Cover and keep warm.

* The recipe calls for Chicken Broth, but if a recipe has the potential for being vegetarian, I always convert to vegetable broth to make it vegetarian. Your soup will still be as flavorful, just less chicken-y.

** Over time we all learn certain tricks to make recipes even better. With this recipe I always rest the potato mixture for 5-10 minutes before blending. It gives it a chance to thicken and results in a creamier soup.

*** I use a stick blender to puree my soup. It makes less dishes, which always makes me happy!

I serve this soup in bowls garnished with more cracked black pepper and chopped chives. A piece of crusty bread will finish it off.

Since this soup is a take on a traditional French Potage, I am pouring French wine. I came across the Saint Cosme, Cotes du Rhone for $12.99, and whisked it into my basket. It is 100% Syrah. Too me it was big wine, with black current flavors, and a slight spiciness. I have had a thing for Cotes du Rhone lately. They are becoming much more available in our area, and they are a very sophisticated tasting wine, for a very small price tag!

So that is my plan for the evening. I have sent my husband to get wood. And tonight, we will be snuggling by the fire warming ourselves with its glow, watching our Saint Cosme sparkle its ruby color through our glasses, and eating our delicious Golden Winter Soup. I guess there is a lot to love about winter in New England after all!

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