After spending a beautiful afternoon apple-picking, we decided to get adventurous with our
bounty – and WOW – did we ever find the perfect autumn comfort dish. Thanks to our friend
Onna (check her out at http://fullandhappy.com/about.html), we were able to find a perfect
dish for our apples (besides the apple pie of course!) that also uses another one of our fall
favorites: Butternut Squash.
This soup will have your whole home smelling like fall. One amazing find we made on our apple
picking adventure was a homemade Sweet Hot Pepper Relish. This dish is so packed with
flavor, we though a little sweet heat would be the perfect compliment. Was it ever!
Ingredients (serves 4 adults easily):
2.5 pounds butternut squash (1 large or 2 small squash)
1 Tablespoon salt
½ cup of olive oil
4-6 apples, peeled and diced (any will work - but Granny Smith is the best IMO)
2 leeks, the white and light green parts
12 sprigs fresh thyme, picked – or however many you like!
¼ cup sherry wine, marsala wine, or dry white wine (you should be drinking white wine
while cooking anyway so just pour some out of your glass!)
2 cans of regular coconut milk
32 oz of Vegetable stock
¼ cup raw sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Dollop of Sweet Hot Pepper Relish (if you can find it)!
Preheat the oven to 425F. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the
seeds. Generously rub the flesh with olive oil and salt and pepper.
Roast face-up at 425 for about 40-45 minutes, the key here is to make sure the flesh has
a nice browning on the outside.
Peel and dice the apples, and chop the leeks
In a large stock pot saute the apples and leeks in olive oil until they are lightly browned,
and the apples are soft – about 8 minutes
Add the Thyme and white wine to help scrap the tasty bits off of the bottom of the pot
Add the coconut milk, and lower the temperature to simmer for 15 minutes
Once the squash is roasted, take it from the oven and scrape out the flesh and put it
into the pot (if it is cook properly you should be able to do this with a spoon easily
Add the sugar and vegetable stock and simmer for another 15 minutes
Once it is cooked, blend it with a hand blender, or in a standing blender
Super Surprise: This soup (if you use 6 apples) will be nice and thick. That means once it is in
the fridge (if you have leftovers) it will thicken even more and make a delicious apple saucy
Pairing suggestion: for the kids, and our kids loved this dish – a grilled cheese with a nice cheddar is divine!
The Fridge Clearing Special!
We always buy too many beautiful vegetables! Thinking we are going to eat SUPER healthy that week, so we stock up on everything that looks wonderful in the organic vege isle. What always happens is life gets in the way of cooking some nights, then later in the week we have ourselves a vegetable crisis! Every time we open the fridge the vegetables stare at us, begging to get eaten before they go bad.
It is all very stressful.
We found a great recipe from our friend Onna that helped us, in one beautiful and delicious dish, use ALL our vegetables! And we did it thanks to the super hero of all spice mixtures – curry!
This Thai Curry dish is super easy to make, and goes great with any flavored or plain rice you have in your cupboard. We used a basil-chili rice for the adults, and good old-fashioned Basmati for the kids. We tapped our box (shhh!) of California pinot grigio, and turned a Friday night into a Thai adventure.
We make this with two cast iron pots – one for the curry and one for the vegetables. Meat eaters can throw anything in here also and it would be just as great. The recipe below is all of the vegetables we had on hand, but literally any vegetable would taste great in this mixture. Making it separately also allows the non-fans of the curry to have the charred veges with whatever sauce they want (which helped with our kids since we went with a spicier curry).
Combine and enjoy! One thing to add (if you have it around) would be some fresh cilatrno or a squeeze of lime juice. The leftovers of this dish the next day, in my opinion, are even better than the original – so go ahead and cook all those veges in your fridge now and have lunch ready tomorrow!
Isabella & Ryan
This is the one section Isabella is currently collaborating on with another. She's learning to cook, while her husband is already an excellent chef. You can follow Ryan on Pinterest: @rmccaffr