Sometimes I please and surprise myself in the kitchen, when I try something new and it turns out fabulously. As the temperatures dip, and flurries fill the sky, I crave luscious, hot soups--the perfect balance of warmth and faux heartiness. I love that soup can be virtually fat-free and yet taste utterly voluptuous. I came home from work *early* (if 4pm is early after arriving at work at 7am...), set some frozen roasted butternut squash pieces out and went for a very short walk. I came home, enjoyed coffee and couch time, reading my new *Cooking Light* magazine, and then headed to the kitchen.
I sauteed diced carrots, celery, and onion in a little canola oil. I added chunks of the still frozen squash, water, a bay leaf, dried sage, black pepper, and salt. I cooked away until the squash was thawed and the other veggies had a little give. I used my stick blender to roughly mash the soup, preserving some rustic chunks. I ladled a bowl full, drizzled honey on top, and ate with a wedge of Zingy's Paesano bread with olive oil. Yumm. The veggies and spices give the soup a thanksgiving flavor, and the honey draws out the sweetness of the squash.
Christmas baking beckons...my cooking magazines are filled with delicious new recipes, like Chai shortbread, and chocolate sandwich cookies. Or how about a Chocolate Cake layered with homemade peppermint ice cream, enrobed in ganache? Any takers? What are your favorite holiday treats?