November is nearly over and the daily temperatures in DC are still hovering around 65 degrees. You would think the mild weather would keep this Bostonian in t-shirts and short skirts all month long, but I boxed all the summertime clothes up months ago. This is mostly due to the fact that none of them fit me right now (more on that later), but also because I’m eager for fall to begin in earnest. I always love the change in seasons – regardless which season it is – but this year in particular, I’m ready for hot cocoa and chunky sweaters, the hiss and clang of radiators and bottomless batches of chocolate chip cookies.
Since the weather hasn’t been cooperating, I’ve had to pretend. This has meant that in addition to wearing riding boots and scarves, I’ve been making soup, baking gratins, and practically smothering us in root vegetables and winter grains. I’ve also been cooking a little something else, made with 100% natural ingredients, baked low and slow for ten months, which probably explains why I’m so anxious to speed up the seasons. Come April, I’ll have a miniature sous chef in the kitchen with me and I can’t wait to meet him (and put him to work as soon as his little fingers can manage a vegetable peeler).
In the meantime, Matt and I are having fun sharing the excitement and anticipation with family and friends. We spent this past week in Maine with my mom, buying baby’s first book and fattening him (and me) up on bacon and eggs and homemade meatloaf. We drove down to Boston for Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house, ultrasound photos and three pies in hand. It was a great week, from which we’re now recovering on our couch.
If your Thanksgiving week was like mine and if you too are eager for the cooler weather to set in, then I think you’ll appreciate this recipe. It requires minimal cooking, consists almost entirely of vegetables, and warms you up from the inside out. The perfect post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas-cookie-season meal – butternut squash soup. All you need is 20 minutes, a handful of ingredients (half of which are probably already in your pantry), and a single pot to simmer these in. And if you’re lucky enough to have a little helper to peel the squash, that will only make the end result that much sweeter.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup from The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (2 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more, to taste
2 tablespoons honey
4 teaspoons plain low-fat yogurt, for garnish
Heat oil over medium heat in a 6-quart stockpot. Add onions and garlic and saute until soft but not brown, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the butternut squash, broth, curry powder and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat stir in honey and puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender until smooth. Season with salt, to taste.
Ladle into serving bowls and add a dollop of yogurt.