Seasonal Soup

Happy Hump Day! Nothing spells rainy day comfort food like butternut squash soup! This season is about embracing all that fall has to offer, and today’s homemade butternut squash soup with spicy tofu and rosemary toasted walnuts is no exception!

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I wish I was better at taking pictures during the cooking process (I’m working on it) because I had a lot of fun coming up with this concoction!

I used butter (2tablespoons), onions(half-minced), shallots(one minced), garlic(3 cloves minced), carrots (1 cup shredded), ginger (1 tablespoon grated), white wine (1 cup), stock (5-6 cups), butternut squash(1 1/2 med-large squash peeled, cubed, lightly roasted), seasonings (1tbsp cumin, 1/2 tbsp coriander, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp ginger, 1tsp cinnamon), salt, pepper, and 1% milk (3 cups) for the soup.

Starting with the butter, onion, shallot and garlic until they cooked down a little, then adding the carrots, followed by the white wine and seasonings. After the base was well combined, I added the stock and shortly after the squash. I let this simmer on the stove for an hour before blending the mixture in batches until smooth. I then added it to the 3 cups of warm milk on the stove top, let that simmer for about 30 more minutes, and canned the silky soup into 16oz mason jars.

For the tofu, I dried and cubed a block of extra firm tofu, seasoned it similarly (adding a bit of cayenne, chili powder and paprika), and baked @ 400 for 25-30 minutes. I tossed raw walnuts in some salt, cayenne, ginger, rosemary and olive oil to toast for about 10 minutes @350 after I finished the tofu.

The combo of textures as well as sweet, spicy and savory flavors makes for a delightfully decadent dish! I love playing with textures and flavor compliments and this soup is fun filled as well as nutritionally fortified!

Snag a spoon and sink into some sensational seasonal soup…enjoy!

Pumpkin Fettuccine

20131012-182707.jpg As promised, some seasonal sensations from my rainy Friday night. Somehow the weather held out today, which made for an amazing farmers market excursion after the gym and some awesome city strolling!

My pumpkin fettuccine experiment started simply as a way to please my boyfriends pumpkin passion and sink myself into some seasonal sensations. I found a recipe in one of the cookbooks I dug out of my basement and while I am not a fan of following recipes, homemade pasta dough can get a little tricky.

The recipe comes from ‘The glorious Pasta of Italy’ by Domenica Marchetti and I adapted it a bit by using whole wheat flour but in general it’s 2+ cups flour, a few tablespoons of semolina, two eggs, 1/3 cup pumpkin purée, nutmeg, salt and a little water. After mixing and kneading for about 30 minutes and letting the dough set for about the same I set to the task of rolling the dough.

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And cutting it…

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And letting it rest to dry a little…

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Which is when I set to the task of poaching then broiling my lovely Halibut filets and mixing up a béchamel to sauce both the pasta and fish.

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Now this is not a super healthy recipe by any means but when you’ve had a hard week and it’s been raining for days, decadence is paramount!

The flavors in the pasta and sauce were both subtle and indulgent and the fish was something out of this world!

CAUTION: this dish is known to induce a food coma likened to that of a thanksgiving feast and demands some cardio the morning after to feel normal again….but worth every bite!

Enjoy!

‘Tis the Season..

…FOR PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!ImageI am totally on the pumpkin bandwagon this and most every fall! Forget the fact its chock-full of vitamins and minerals that help your vision, skin, heart, metabolism and immune system, its DeLiCiOuS!!!!

Simply adding pumpkin to some of your everyday favorites, like oatmeal, can make for a yummy spin on an old time favorite. I like to use almond milk instead of water so I mix 3/4c almond milk with 1/4c pumpkin puree and 1/2c quick oats. Heat mixture until thick and creamy, stir in some pumpkin spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon, clove) and a little sugar if you’re so inclined to treat yourself to something that is both devilishly delicious and delightfully nutritious!

‘Tis the season to enjoy!