Just Pulled it Outta My A$$

Thursday, October 21, 2010

With the Fall weather finally starting to settle in a bit here, I've been craving comfort food and what is one of the best Fall/Winter comfort foods? Yes, that's right kids, soup. I decided yesterday would be a great time to make some soup, but with our pantry on the bare side, I wasn't too sure what to make. I did remember that we had some left over butternut squash in the freezer from last year's pumpkin picking fest and they had been lovingly roasted by me and properly portioned into bags, so I had husband pull a couple bags out of the freezer so they would be thawed out by the time I got home.

Life has had it's ups and downs lately, and yesterday was definitely a down. It could be that the full moon is coming and since I'm so emotionally connected to the cycle of the moon, I could be feeling the affects, but whatever it is, I was cranky yesterday. I guess it also doesn't help that I have somehow lost my friend at work. She stopped talking to me over the last few months making working in the same department somewhat awkward and stressful so that didn't help my mood either and by the time I got home I just wanted to crawl into bed with a bottle of wine. But there was soup to make.

Husband had the day off and had ended it by making some breads (banana, cranberry, nectarine - not sure about this one??) so as he finished up I got to work on my soup. I knew I wanted a smooth pureed soup with lots of bold roasty caramel flavors and knew I had little to work with. I cut up the squash and threw it in the pot with some butter and let it go to town in there, then I threw in some left over turkey stock and a container of veggie stock and let it come to a boil. While I was waiting for the soup to boil, I sliced up a couple red onions (because that's all we had) really fine and put them in a pan with more butter and let them sauté until they were caramelized like you would for French onion soup. When the soup had come to a boil and everything was coming along nicely, I got out my handy-dandy stick blender and pureed the soup down to it's creamy goodness. I love that stick blender, it really is the best and makes soups like this a snap. Once the soup was the consistency I wanted it, I put it back on the stove and added my seasoning; 21 seasoning salute from Trader Joes, garlic powder, lots of pepper. That was it, nothing else because I knew the punch was coming with the onions. Speaking of onions, they were browning up nicely and smelling fabulous. Finally reaching their caramel color goodness, I put the onions in the pot of soup, did some final seasoning and let it sit and simmer for about 20 minutes to make sure all that onion flavor just melted into the soup.

I served it simply with a little parmesean on top and it was heaven. Just what I had wanted and had envisioned, creamy, caramel, a little burnt, touch of pepper and just plain good. I love it when a plan comes together and what you pull out of your brain actually works the way you had thought it would. It doesn't happen too often, but I'm finding the more I cook and understand how ingredients work and change under manipulation, the better it gets. By the end of the evening after a satisfying bowl of my soup I was feeling much better. The cranky-ness had left the building to be replaced with the satisfied feeling of a job well done and an idea come to life. So to all of you, I say, keep trying those ideas and if it doesn't turn out like you wanted, try again and keep cooking!

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