The last post of November should be pumpkin or squash related so I can make room for all the wonderful winter treats that are going to come my way. I started my Christmas music radio station two weeks before Thanksgiving but I haven't decorated the house yet. M and I plan to do that this weekend. Have you got your tree already?Read More
Even though the pets probably don't share my views, I feel like a bad parent this week. I forgot to get them their Halloween costumes this year which also burns a hole in my photo for the month of October in the annual calendar that we mail out to our families. This time, we have a cat to add to the calendar too....One calendar, two models, both divas. Maybe a pumpkin costume???
Other highlights of this week include my trip to Nova Scotia, I'm heading out this week to teach a workshop at the Devour Food Film Festival, it's going to be a fun time with movies on food and more food to eat. What should I eat in Nova Scotia? Poutine is definitely on my list.
Califia recently released a whole new line of Califia Farms of Signature Blend cold brew coffees which are delicious and asked me to create something savory with. Since coffee is a great way to add umami, I've used it to create this Butternut squash soup which by itself can be rather flat in taste. I also ground in dried sage leaves, cumin and a bunch of other spices to boost up the flavor of the soup. And if you like it a little hot add some sambal olek!
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this soup;
- You can substitute pumpkin for butternut squash in this recipe.
- Sambal olek is optional but your favorite hot sauce would also work in this recipe. Just taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Califia Farms has a bunch of different coffee flavors in their new line of cold brews, the Ethiopian coffee would also be a good one to use in this recipe.
butternut squash and coffee soup
yields: 4 to 6 servings
1/2 butternut squash
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup minced red onions
1 teaspoon cumin
6 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried sage leaves or powder
1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sambal olek (optional)
one 10.5 ounce bottle Califia cold brew single origin (Signature blend, Colombian/Central America)
6 to 8 whole fresh sage leaves
1/4 teaspoon Maldon salt flakes
1. Place a wire rack at midlevel in the oven and preheat to 400F. Take the butternut squash half, scoop out and discard the seeds and strings and place it in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes until soft and tender. Remove from oven, tent with aluminum foil and allow to cool for about 15 to 20 minutes before handling. Once cooled, peel the skin off the squash and cut the squash into large chunks. Place the squash in a blender.
2. While the squash is cooking, take a 5 quart dutch oven, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and set the heat to medium-high. Add the onions and sauté for about 10 minutes until they start to brown. Transfer the onion to the blender along with the cumin, peppercorns, powdered sage, salt, vinegar, sambal olek and coffee. Pulse until smooth. Transfer the soup to the Dutch oven and bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and keep warm. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary
3. In a small skillet, heat the remaining oil on medium-high heat. Rinse the sage leaves and pat them dry. Fry them in the hot oil until they turn crispy and the edges get slightly brown, this should take about a minute. Transfer the fried leaves to a paper towel to absorb the excess oil and sprinkle with the Maldon salt flakes. Garnish each serving of the soup with the fried leaves and a little extra olive oil.
Note: You can adjust the thickness of the soup by adding water but taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Califia Farms, however, all opinions expressed are solely my own.
Moving is exciting but doing the work necessary to move is no fun. One would think that, now that we’re t minus 4 days away until the big move, I should have had a good game plan but to be honest I have made none. I’ve packed nothing and I keep dreading every moment of it! We’ve moved four chairs and two bar stools to the house (since the contractors will wrap up in a few days) and I almost forgot, a dog bed. I think my desire to move but not pack is motivated (or not motivated depending on which way you look at it) by the fact that were moving an hour or so away. All I want to do is snap my fingers and make this happen with magic!
However, there are other things that I’ve actually planned out , like my thanksgiving menu. This year, along with my favorite kitchen cookware company, Le Creuset, I've created a couple of special savory dishes for the holiday using their Heritage bakeware collection. These dishesare easy and can be prepared in advance to save time. You can refrigerate the dishes ahead of time by wrapping them up airtight with cling film and foil and then reheat them in the oven just before serving.
I flavored the spicy and hot pork and mushroom pie with a dash of garam masala and hot sauce (I used sriracha) then topped it off with a layer of mashed potatoes and parmesan for a delicious cheesy crust. For the apple and butternut squash casserole, the eggs were whisked with a little freshly ground nutmeg and parmesan (the leftovers are also great at breakfast) and that I then used the liquid to envelope the vegetables and apples. An added bonus, the aroma of parmesan sneaking out from your oven!
Note: This post was sponsored by Le Creuset but all opinions stated are my own.