Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Winter Squash Soup with Gruyère Croutons

I love autumn, and this soup captures the flavors of the season! This simple recipe was a great way to use the butternut squash and acorn squash I received in my CSA bag. As wonderful as the soup is on its own, the Gruyère croutons definitely add texture and flavor to the dish...well worth the effort. For a heartier comfort-food meal, pair with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Source: Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons, Bon Appetit, December 1996


For the soup:

¼ cup (½ stick) butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 large garlic cloves, chopped

3 (14 ½-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth

4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 1 ½ pounds)

4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled acorn squash (about 1 ½ pounds)

1 ¼ teaspoons minced fresh thyme

1 ¼ teaspoons minced fresh sage

¼ cup whipping cream

2 teaspoons sugar

For the croutons:

2 tablespoons (¼ stick) butter

24 ¼-inch thick baguette bread slices

1 cup grated Gruyère cheese

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

1 teaspoon minced fresh sage


For soup:

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made a day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)

For croutons:

Preheat broiler. Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Turn over. Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with croutons and serve.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cucumber Tomato Relish

I’ve been getting so many tomatoes and fresh herbs from my CSA bag! I wanted to make a healthy fish dinner and use some of the fresh vegetables I’m getting. This cucumber tomato relish with its sweet vinegar flavor was absolutely the perfect companion with my delicate, white flaky fish. Or use this as a bruschetta topping. This recipe is both tasty and flexible!


¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 cucumber, peeled (optional) and diced

1 pound tomatoes, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

½ sweet onion, chopped


Whisk together dressing ingredients (olive oil through mustard) until sugar is dissolved and dressing starts to thicken. In a serving bowl, pour over cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

I was excited to see a spaghetti squash in my CSA box this week and happy to try this casserole recipe. What was so interesting about this dish was that it essentially had all the flavors of a traditional baked spaghetti but used the squash instead of pasta...a delicious yet healthier alternative!

Source: Spaghetti Squash Casserole, Taste of Home, October/November 1994


1 small spaghetti squash (1 ½ to 2 pounds)

½ cup water

1 pound ground beef

½ cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped sweet red pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

1 can (8 ounces) tomatoes with liquid, cut up

1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped

¼ teaspoon salt

⅛ teaspoon pepper

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped


Cut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out seeds. Place with cut side down in a baking dish; add water. Cover and bake at 375° for 20-30 minutes or until it is easily pierced with a fork. When cool enough to handle, scoop out squash, separating the strands with a fork. In a skillet, cook beef, onion, red pepper and garlic until meat is browned and the vegetables are tender. Drain; add tomatoes, oregano, salt, pepper and squash. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Transfer to an ungreased 1 ½-quart baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheese and parsley; let stand a few minutes.