Butternut squash soup with pancetta and pasta

Soup with pancetta and pasta

In these lingering winter/cloudy days, I’ve been enjoying this delicious soup. I love a good, hearty soup, and this recipe fits the bill. Butternut squash is my go to vegetable for soup, so I try to do something new every time.

Ingredients:
  • 4 oz. pancetta, chopped
  • small handful fresh sage leaves, whole
  • 3 cups peeled, seeded, & cubed butternut squash (half inch cubes or somewhere thereabouts)*
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb. pasta of your choice— fettucine or linguine (I used spiral pasta)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • to serve: Pecorino or Parmesan or the hard, salty cheese of your choice
Instructions:

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook the pancetta until it is crisp, stirring occasionally.  Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a small bowl. Add more oil to the skillet if needed and quick-fry the sage leaves for just a minute or two until they are crisp, then transfer to the same bowl as the pancetta.

In the same skillet that you just cooked the pancetta & sage in (delicious flavor in there!), cook the squash, onion, and garlic over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until the onion is translucent, then add the broth.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the squash is soft and the liquid has reduced considerably, about 15-20 minutes.

Allow the squash to cool a bit, then use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. (Alternately, you can transfer to a conventional blender, but if you do this, you will need to let the squash cool a bit longer first.)  Taste and season the mixture with salt & pepper.

Cook your pasta until al dente—you will be cooking it a bit more in the next step, so don’t over-cook it now!  Drain the pasta and reserve about a half cup of cooking liquid.  In the same old big skillet, combine the pasta, squash puree, and ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and cook over medium heat, tossing everything around until the sauce coats the pasta.  (Add more cooking liquid as needed to thin the sauce.)  This step should only take a few minutes.

Remove from heat and crumbled the pancetta and sage over the skillet, plus a generous amount of

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Butternut squash soup with pancetta and pasta

Soup with pancetta and pasta

In these lingering winter/cloudy days, I’ve been enjoying this delicious soup. I love a good, hearty soup, and this recipe fits the bill. Butternut squash is my go to vegetable for soup, so I try to do something new every time.

Ingredients:
  • 4 oz. pancetta, chopped
  • small handful fresh sage leaves, whole
  • 3 cups peeled, seeded, & cubed butternut squash (half inch cubes or somewhere thereabouts)*
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb. pasta of your choice— fettucine or linguine (I used spiral pasta)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • to serve: Pecorino or Parmesan or the hard, salty cheese of your choice
Instructions:

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook the pancetta until it is crisp, stirring occasionally.  Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a small bowl. Add more oil to the skillet if needed and quick-fry the sage leaves for just a minute or two until they are crisp, then transfer to the same bowl as the pancetta.

In the same skillet that you just cooked the pancetta & sage in (delicious flavor in there!), cook the squash, onion, and garlic over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until the onion is translucent, then add the broth.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the squash is soft and the liquid has reduced considerably, about 15-20 minutes.

Allow the squash to cool a bit, then use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. (Alternately, you can transfer to a conventional blender, but if you do this, you will need to let the squash cool a bit longer first.)  Taste and season the mixture with salt & pepper.

Cook your pasta until al dente—you will be cooking it a bit more in the next step, so don’t over-cook it now!  Drain the pasta and reserve about a half cup of cooking liquid.  In the same old big skillet, combine the pasta, squash puree, and ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and cook over medium heat, tossing everything around until the sauce coats the pasta.  (Add more cooking liquid as needed to thin the sauce.)  This step should only take a few minutes.

Remove from heat and crumbled the pancetta and sage over the skillet, plus a generous amount of cheese!

Caprese soup

Caprese soup

Whenever I eat tomato soup it always reminds me of growing up when my mom and I would eat tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. While this soup recipe is a little more “grown up,” it still takes me back. While I love a greasy grilled cheese sandwich, I can’t splurge as much as I could as a kid. However, the mozzarella drops along with a side of crunch toast or bread serve as a close alternative.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (28 0z.) Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 2-3 glugs extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-7 Sun dried tomatoes, chopped.
  • 2 small Shallots finely chopped
  • 1 medium garlic clove thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon dry basil
  • 1 pinch dry thyme
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Toppings:

  • 6-8 hand fulls of spinach
  • 1 shallot
  • Extra virgin olive oil to saute
  • Salt and black pepper to taste (or about 1 teaspoon)
  • Fresh Mozzarella Ciliegine (if you can not find the Ciliegine, you can cut the mozzarella into small cubes)
  • Toasted bread

Instructions:

In a medium soup pot over medium heat, warm up the extra virgin olive oil. Add in the chopped shallots, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, bay leaf saute for 3-4 minutes.

Add the dry basil, thyme salt and black pepper, saute for another minute.

Add the can of crushed fire roasted tomatoes, and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium.

Add the water, stir until well incorporated, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low, simmer for 6-8 minutes. With an immersion blender puree the soup. ( I love this gadget in the kitchen, it is so practical and easy to puree your soup on the same pot!)

Serve immediately with the toppings and enjoy.

Roasted cauliflower soup

cauliflower soup

I might have found the perfect soup. I’m not exaggerating. I have been eyeing this recipe for a while and don’t know why I never made it before. After getting back from a week in Las Vegas, I needed a light meal, full of veggies. It’s thick and creamy without being full of butter and cream. The fresh rosemary and thyme really make the soup something special. And it’s perfect for a cold January day. But even if you’re not big on veggies, you should try this soup!

  • 1 ( 1 1/2 pound ) head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower and garlic cloves in the olive oil until well coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place on a large baking sheet, in a single layer. Roast the cauliflower until lightly golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat, add the onion and celery and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Chop up the roasted garlic. Add the garlic, roasted cauliflower, vegetable broth, thyme, and rosemary and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the mixture simmers and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 20-25 minutes.

Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender or food processor), blend the soup until smooth. Add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve warm. We like to serve the bread with crusty bread or homemade croutons.

Sweet potato soup

photo 3

When it comes to soups, there are endless possibilities. At any given time in the winter I have at least one soup in my fridge, and a couple more loaded up in my freezer. It really comes down to your taste and preference in flavors and ingredients.

Craving more hearty soup recipes to keep you warm through the winter? Head over to my recipe box for more ideas!

  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato (from a baked sweet potato)
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth — add more to thin out to desired consistency
  • 1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/4 cup diced avocado for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake your sweet potato until tender.

Remove potato skin, add to blender along with the broth and non-dairy milk. Blend on low until smooth. Taste a drop to see that it is slightly bland at this point. Add the salt and spices to taste. I added the zest last and folded it into the poured soup.

Serve with garnish or avocado and crushed chips over top.

Creamy carrot soup

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It’s that time of year. Roads have been iced over, keeping us locked up at home and bundled up. I love to make hearty soups that will warm me up from the inside. This is also not a bad way to get a serving of veggies. You will hardly notice how healthy this soup is, though!

  • 8 whole Large Carrots, Peeled And Sliced
  • 1-1/2 cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Pressed
  • 1 whole Lemon, Zested
  • 1-1/2 cup Half-and-half
  • Lemon Juice To Taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt (or Regular Salt To Taste)
  • Ground Black Pepper To Taste
  • Fresh Herbs (I used basil)

Simmer carrots with chicken broth, garlic, and lemon zest in a pot for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat.

Transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender directly into the pot to blend carrots and broth until smooth. Add in half & half and juice of 1/2 lemon. Stir to combine. Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste, checking seasoning as you go.

Pour back into pan or place pan back onto stove and heat soup until just warm, then serve in bowls, garnished with basil.

Slow cooker baked potato soup

photo

At work on Friday we had our big Thanksgiving feast and in true GH fashion we had an absurd amount of food. Everyone volunteered to bring a side dish. I wanted to bring something less traditional than your typical side, so I decided to make potato soup. The soup turned out a bit thicker than I was expecting, but I do like thicker, heartier soup. If you want soup that is more soupy, you can simply add more chicken stock as needed.

I also brought my pumpkin corn bread that I made last year. Which. I. LOVE.

Since we had so much food left over at the party, I was able to bring the leftovers home and enjoy them with my cousin today just before we saw Catching Fire. It was just what we needed on this freezing cold day!

  • 5 pounds Russet Potatoes, washed but not peeled and diced into 1/2 in cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoons seasoned salt
  • Bacon, shredded cheese, green onions, etc. for garnish

Add potatoes, onion, garlic, seasoning, and chicken stock to slow cooker.

Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours.

Add the softened cream cheese and puree soup with an immersion blender until the cheese is incorporated and about half the soup is blended. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can transfer the mixture into a blender, then transfer back into the pot for serving.

Stir well, top with your choice of garnishes & enjoy!