Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall

I love this time of year when summer slowly drifts into fall. It seems that just for a little while we are able to enjoy the best of both worlds. The days are sunny and warm, while the nights are clear and cool. This is probably one of my busiest times of the year. (That may explain why I am a little behind on my blogs.)

This fall seems to be especially busy for our family. Catie has spent most of her time applying for colleges and scholarships, and Carson has been busy with her music. I am so proud of both of my girls. Although they are very different in their likes and dislikes, they both seem to have a drive to develop the talents and abilities that God has given them. John and I couldn't be more blessed.

Even with all of their activities, I have managed to savor the last little bit of summer. I am trying to hang on to my basil just a little longer. Although my tomatoes have long been gone, I did make a caprese salad one day last week with store bought plum tomatoes that I roasted to bring out the flavor. It was yummy.

I just wish that I lived near a store that sold freshly made mozzarella. Now, that would have been perfection.

To bring in fall, I decided to make something that I have never made before.... butternut squash soup. I wish I could give you a wonderful recipe for this soup, however, I can't. When I cook, I just combine ingredients that I think will be good together and go for it.

I started by sauteing onions in olive oil and a little butter until they were softened.

The hardest part about the whole experience was peeling the squash. Does anyone have suggestions to make that easier? After peeling the squash and cutting it into cubes, I roasted it in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. I turned it over once after fifteen minutes.

Doesn't that look delish! It was actually very good after roasting. I think it would make a perfect side dish.

Then, I combined the roasted squash and the onions in the pot and added enough chicken stock to cover and simmered for about 15 minutes.

After letting this mixture cool, I pureed it all in a blender, put it back into the pot, and added chicken stock and half-and-half until it reached the consistency that I wanted.

It was very good for my first attempt. Butternut squash soup is a perfect choice for a fall meal starter. It was a little rich and my family said that the serving bowls were a little too big. I'm sure that one could make it with just chicken stock to make it a little healthier, but I kinda like the richness.

As you can see, I celebrate the changing of the seasons in the kitchen. How do you say goodbye to summer and hello to fall?

20 comments:

My Blessed Serendipity Life said...

Your soup looked delicious!

-Danielle

myletterstoemily said...

carla, that looks so delicious, and that's exactly
how i cook. oh a little of this, a little of that.

i have no idea how to easily peel a squash,
sorry.

*Ulrike* said...

That sounds so yummy! I was looking at a butternut squash yesterday at the grocery store! Now I need to buy one the next time I go. I have read where they suggest cutting the squash in half, roasting, and then taking the "meat" out. I've never tried it, but that is what I have read.
I am so glad fall is finally here too. I cut back quite a few of my flowers that were past their prime in my flower bed this morning, plus I gathered seeds too. There is just so much to do outside!! By the time I am inside I am tired!! I am trying to catch up once again, so since I came in for lunch here I am. Now I better get busy and make some otherwise I'll forget to eat!!
Take Care,
Ulrike

Denise said...

Thank you for your prayers Carla. This food looks delicious. I love butternut squash soup at this time of year.

tina said...

It all does look good-VERY yummy and great for fall. That salad with the tomatoes looks the best to me. I'm not sure on peeling the squash. I usually microwave mine then the pulp scoops out. Not sure if it would work for your use. The sunny orange of your soup is awesome. Good luck to your oldest daughter on finding a college and to your youngest on the music. I have a musically talented son and he is such an enigma to us we can hardly believe he is ours but he is good with music. A great hobby for teens.

Glenda said...

Your soup looks and sounds delicious! I've never eaten any butternut squash soup, but I think I would like it. Fall is the perfect time for soups, chili, stews and gumbo! I'm loving this cool, crisp weather and pulling out long-sleeved tops and light jackets. My husband is thrilled that it's football and hunting season.

Joan Elizabeth said...

I am sure you are enjoying fall, the seasonal change to warm soups is always fun, We call that Pumpkin Soup here -- we Australians eat a lot of pumpkins including butternut pumpkins but more recently the Kent (also known as Jap) pumpkin has become a favourite on the supermarket shelves ... it is just as tasty but has a much easier to peel skin. The suggestion of cooking with skin on also works.

Lovely to hear from you again.

Diana (Di) said...

Carla, the Caprese salad is lovely and the squash soup sounds wonderful... I can taste both.

Hope you all didn't get flooded with all the rain on the east coast last week. We are looking at a couple of nice sunny days and then some rain. Best I get out in the vegetable garden today and gather produce to process. Have a wonderful weekend.

Richella said...

I think I'd like the richness, too! That soup looks wonderful.

And the caprese salad. . . oh my. I just love tomatoes and basil. It's just an unbeatable combination, isn't it? How did you roast your tomatoes?

By the way, I buy fresh mozzarella at Sam's--it's not as fresh as what comes from a local dairy, but it's really good! :)

Donna said...

Thank you so much for your sweet comments on my blog. Your girls sound wonderful, and your soup looks fantastic. We have already had fresh butternut squash with our means several times as the stores are now stocking it again. It's one of my dad's favorites (very easy to chew!). I am definitely going to try the soup sometime. As for the peeling, I am lazy - I put the precut halves or chunks in the deli area. I really should buy the entire squash as it would be MUCH cheaper I'm sure! Happy fall to you!!!... Donna

Zuzu said...

Yummmmmm!!!

In the fall, I try to get in as many walks outdoors as I can. LOVE how everything smells and those crunchy leaves underfoot. :)

Hope you have a lovely weekend, Carla!
Hugs,
Zuzu

pve design said...

Take a look at "All the best blog" - Ronda posts some of the most wonderful recipes that I know you would love.
Your soup looks yummy. I made a pot yesterday.
pve

Pam said...

My mouth is watering just looking at these delectable delights, Carla.
I will try your wonderful fall food ideas.
Thank you for sharing them.

Have a blessed day, Carla

sweetbay said...

I try to spend as much time outside as possible and get my perennials planted out. The soup looks yummy!

Cameron said...

I do love butternut squash soup! Looks wonderful! I have no better tips on peeling the things, though!

Sorry that I've been away so long. I appreciated all of your kind comments. I'm trying to find my motivation, but it is still missing and my poor garden is so neglected. I just need cooler weather to inspire me to sow my spring annual seeds this fall.

From the Kitchen said...

Carla: Do you have a Costco? They have fresh mozzarella. Also, my grocery store usually has it in the deli section that they'll dish up for me. I, too, am trying to wring the last bit of "taste" from summer. And, I did fried green tomatoes today since there were green tomatoes at Saturday's market that are not going to ripen. They were delicious!

Best,
Bonnie

From the Kitchen said...

I'm fairly certain that Costco will give you a one-day "shopping card". Even as empty nesters, we find we use Costco a lot. According to my son, a food scientist in the seafood area, Costco has the highest standards for their seafood and meats. They also have a good reputation among their employees from what I've heard.

Happy shopping!

Best,
Bonnie

elizabeth said...

sounds like a recipe my daughter would love I must try it!! Found your blog through Jan Mary and have enjoyed your posts!!
Enjoy this lovely weather!

myletterstoemily said...

good morning, carla.

thanks for the visit this morning. i always love
hearing from you. for some reason, i remember
the first time i met you, you had 74 visitors.

look at that number now!

i pray your health is better and that school is
going great!

love,
lea

Cindy said...

Carla,

More food? You are so creative and I know that I have said it before, but it all looks so delicious! I can almost taste it through my computer!!

Happy Fall,
Cindy