The weather in Florida has been amazing–cool and breezy. Cool as in 80 degrees, but that’s a massive improvement, and a very welcome one, from the 100 degree temperatures we were enjoying just last week. “Cool” is relative, right?!
Cool weather means new food cravings (or maybe that’s a bit of Instagram’s influence ;)): creamy soups with grilled cheese sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies, and homemade lattes. But the cravings don’t end there. I’m also craving a new wardrobe. I’m ready to transition from my summer capsule wardrobe to a Florida-style fall/winter capsule.
I haven’t spoken much about my capsule wardrobe since our last conversation in March, so here’s a quick update…
The summer capsule consisted of coordinating a few pairs of shorts, jeans, a couple of chambray shirts, a few tees, and two pairs of sandals.
Now that the cooler weather is here to stay (hopefully!!), I’m ready to break out my boxed-up fall and winter capsule. Now that I have the staples for this capsule–a few pairs of pants, and some layering shirts and cardigans–I’ve decided to only add a couple of new pieces that I feel my capsule was missing last year, especially in Florida.
One of these items is a long sleeve, lightweight shirt that can transition from mom life to the occasional professional setting. The other item is a pair of Lucky Booties. I had these on my capsule wish list last year. Since we don’t wear boots in Florida (oh how I wish), booties are the non-sweating solution. Plus, those boots have Joanna Gaines written all over them, which must mean that my cool factor is majorly amplified when wearing them.
Okay, okay. That’s enough about clothes, at least for one day. You came here today for soup, right?!
Today’s recipe, a creamy butternut squash soup, is exactly the kind of flavorful meal that I crave as we shift from the heat of the summer to the cooler days of October and November. When this creamy soup is paired with a grilled cheese, there’s only one word to describe the experience: divine! And when that soup is paired with a grilled cheese, a mustard-colored cardigan, and booties…Hello, Fall!!
This butternut squash soup is incredibly easy to make. Once the veggies are chopped (which may be prepped in advance), and then roasted, they are blended with broth and olive oil to create a sweet and savory blended soup. Easy peasy!
- ½ a large butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cubed (about 2lbs // 4 cups once cubed)
- 2 leeks (white and light green parts), sliced (about 2.5 cups once sliced)
- ½ a large red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 ripe pear, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed--Press on the garlic cloves with the back of a wooden spoon to crush the cloves.
- 2-3 TB extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth (homemade)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Place the vegetables and fruit (cubed squash, sliced leeks, sliced bell pepper, garlic cloves, and sliced pear) on a large high-rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, and gently toss to combine. Sprinkle the veggies with the salt and pepper.
- Roast the vegetables, uncovered, until tender--about 40 minutes. Around the 25 minute mark, I recommend checking on the veggies, and stirring them if the leeks (or another veggie) appear to be browning quickly.
- Once the veggies are roasted, place them in a Dutch oven (or soup pot), along with the chicken broth and thyme. Heat the broth and veggies, over medium-high heat, until the broth begins to simmer. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it's smooth. Remove the pot from the heat. Add the olive oil, and blend until the soup is creamy. Taste the soup and add more salt, if needed, to taste. I personally add ½ teaspoon of additional salt at this point--this will vary depending on the saltiness of your broth.
- Serve the soup warm with grilled cheese or warm bread (optional, but highly recommended). I also like to top the soup with a few bacon crumbles.
The veggies may all be prepped (sliced and cubed) in advance, except the pear. I recommend keeping the cubed and sliced veggies in the fridge up to 2-3 days before roasting.
Leeks are usually very dirty, so I recommend soaking them, after they’re sliced, in a bowl of water. After a few minutes of soaking, drain the water and rinse the leeks with fresh water.
I’ve been using Bartlett Pears to make this soup, but I think any pear variety will work well.
I’ve left the olive oil amount, for roasting, up to you. I recommend using 2 tablespoons of olive oil at first, and then if the veggies need more oil, adding an additional 1 tablespoon before roasting.
Vegetable broth may be subbed for the chicken broth.
The flavor of the soup just gets better with age, in my opinion, so this is an ideal meal to prep on the weekend and enjoy throughout the week for lunch, or freezer for later.
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