Okay. Time to get back to Soup School here before I forget how I made the soup. This one was soup-er! If I do say so myself. If you think I blather on soupishly here, you should hear me at home. "Oh, nice. Oh, this is good. You guys [to Clover and Violet], this is good. [They appear nonplussed.] Guys, really! Really! Good!" And then Andy gets home. I hear front door open and shut: "Honey did you have the soup yet?" Him: "Dude I just walked in the door!" Me: "I know, but . . . "
[Knit knit knit. Detect kitchen-y noises. Wait for pending compliments on soup.]
"This is awesome!!!"
[Smile smile smile. Polish knuckles on nightgown.] "You know that's right!"
I need very little encouragement, in fact. Now that the kitchen is all cleeeeeeeean. And the winds are all hoooooowling. And the rain is all cooooooooooold. Roasted roots are an antidote for winter weather, don't you think? Here's how I did them.
Roasted Root Soup
(A modified version of Joy the Baker's Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Soup)
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced into 1" rings (wash them well)
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
3 cloves of garlic, in skins
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
4 cups chicken stock, warmed
1 tablespoon fresh sage (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/4 cup cream or half-and-half
Preheat oven to 375 degres F. Spread squash, leeks, sweet potato, and garlic out on a half-sheet pan or large baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss everything with your hands to make sure it is all coated with oil. Roast in the hot oven for about 20-25 minutes until squash is soft when poked with a fork. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with brown sugar and nutmeg. Let cool a bit. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skin onto the other vegetables (and discard garlic skins).
Scoop everything into a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add 3 cups of chicken stock and puree vegetables with a hand blender. (You can transfer everything into a regular blender in batches, too, but a hand blender is perfect for this.) Once it's almost at the consistency you like (I like it thick), add the last cup of stock and sage. Simmer over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes. Add cream and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with garlic bread — here's my super-quick method: Toast thick slices of bread in regular toaster until just barely golden. Slice one (peeled) clove of garlic lengthwise and rub cut side of garlic all over one side of the hot toast. Drizzle with a little olive oil or spread a bit of butter. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and pop it all under the broiler for about a minute (watch it — it sizzles quickly). Serve hot!
Today I'm going to take time out of my busy Words with Friends–playing schedule to actually do some work. When the work involves wool I don't know if it can really be classified as work, but that's my story and I'm stickin. The camera and other knitting my two security blankets found their way home yesterday. They shipped everything without any padding in a box that had two big holes, one on each side, for handles; when I picked up the box there were circular knitting needles sticking right out of one of the holes. I'm sure there are stitch markers somewhere all over Highway 26.