Butternut Squash Soup

Confession. Until this soup, I’d never cut, cooked, or seen the inside of a butternut squash before. It was a lot more like carving a pumpkin than cutting a vegetable. Pro tip #1: don’t try to peel it with a vegetable peeler. Pro tip #2: when skinning try to cut rectangular pieces. Pro tip #3: I recommend scooping the seeds with a spoon. Another confession. I used Rachel Ray’s veggie stock. It was very good. It was seasoned way better than your typical veggie stock.

Collect all of these ingredients:

Your spices: thyme, cayenne, 1 bay leaf, salt, pepper
4 cups of your preferred stock
1 cup water
2 average-sized butternut squashes
1 leek (just the white and light green parts!)
3 tbl Butter
1/4 cup heavy cream

Chop, seed, and skin your squash in 2-inch cubes. Put it all in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and zap it for 14 minutes (14 minutes! yes, you read correctly). Once that’s thoroughly cooked, melt butter in a large pot, add the leeks & squash, cook for 10+ minutes. Then add 2 cups of your broth, to loosen your veggie mix up. Then add the second 2 cups, 1 cup of water & your spices (a couple dashes of thyme, 1 bay leaf, a pinch of thyme). Take the heat up a few notches until you get to a simmer, once you’re simmering reduce your heat and cook until your leeks look tender. Add the mix to your blender/food processor (be careful not to excede your “no liquid above this line” line). Pulse until smooth. Bring it back to the pot and back to a simmer. Add a 1/4 cup of cream for good measure. And season with S&P ’til it tickles your tastebuds.

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Pumpkin Bread

Still crawling out of your Halloween candy coma? Believe it or not this HungryTexan resisted most of the tricks and treats this Halloween season (save a few handfuls of ceremonious candy corn), but I couldn’t resist nibble after nibble of this perfectly punk-in-y loaf. Baked at the height of the hurricane, this Fall treat warmed the home, hearts & tummies of our house-full of hurricane refugees. OneSockWonder described it as, “Fit for a pum-king!”

You’ll need:

Topping:

5 tbl brown sugar

1 tbl flour

1 tbl butter

1 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

Bread:

2 c flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 can pumpkin

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

a hearty swirl of vanilla

1 c sugar

1 c brown sugar

1/2 c canola oil

4 oz cream cheese

4 eggs

1/4 c buttermilk

Mix all your toppings together in a small bowl. For the BREAD, preheat to 350 and prep a loaf pan (or two). First, combine your pumpkin, spices, and vanilla and heat on the stove for 8ish minutes (stirring constantly!). Remove from heat and add both sugars, the cream cheese, and your oil. On the side, combine your eggs & buttermilk and then add that combo to your pumpkin mix. Finally, fold in your flour mixture (flour, soda, powder, salt). StirStirStirStirStir. Pour into your pans and bake 35ish minutes or until your loaves pass the toothpick test!