Today I had to work from home, as one of the little guys was sick. One of the nice things about working from home is the ability to multi-task. Answer an email, put a load of laundry in. Make a phone call, do a little cooking.
My friend Sarah told me about these crazy easy cupcake-muffins that her friend Katie makes. I had to try them! Here’s the whole recipe! Combine one box of chocolate cake mix, one can of pumpkin, and one egg. (You can skip the egg. I added it just to make them less crumbly.) Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Nom nom nom. This is turning into a muffin blog, isn’t it?
Then I decided I ought to make some soup. I have been craving butternut squash soup, as I usually do in the fall. I looked for some recipes and found this awesome looking one via Twitter. Sadly, I didn’t have all the ingredients for the recipes I found. Improvisation time!
La voila, Two Squash Soup!
First, I cut up about three pieces of bacon and browned that. Vegans and real vegetarians (as opposed to you ovo-lacto-baco-vegetarians like me), you could replace the bacon with the fat of your choice. Then I added about half of a diced large yellow onion and two ribs of celery chopped up. Saute all that until it’s tender.
Then I added two boxes of partially thawed frozen winter squash and most of a box of vegetable broth. I used the frozen veg that is squash puree, but you could also use butternut squash chunks. To this I added salt and pepper, some ginger and a little nutmeg. Use as much ginger as you like! Curry would be good too, but sometimes I’m not that into the way curry covers up the flavor of whatever you’re making. Useful if you lack refrigeration and are forced to eat semi-spoiled victuals, but I wanted this to taste like squash. I let this simmer for a little while, until the squash was all blended into the broth.
Meanwhile, I had been roasting a spaghetti squash. This is very simple! All you have to do is cut it in half and put it in a 375-degree oven for about an hour or an hour and a quarter. The only hard part is not amputating your own hand when halving the squash. A chain saw might make this easier. Anyhow, once the squash is tender and done, I stirred the flesh of about half the squash into the soup. (ASIDE: I think I’ll eat some of the rest of this spaghetti squash with leftover veggie chili on top.) Then I simmered the soup a little more, so that all the flavors blended together.
Here it is, all done! I like to chew my soup a little, but you could puree this, of course, if you like a really smooth soup. Also, you could certainly add some cream or half and half to this at the end to make it creamier, but it doesn’t need it. A little parsley or a bit of yogurt and a tiny sprinkle of cinnamon might make a nice garnish, which I would have added before snapping a photo, if I had the presence of mind to think of it before wolfing the whole bowl down with some crackers.