Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Creamy Roasted Squash and Saffron Soup

I absolutely love fall squash. Soups, tarts, pies, pasta you name it.
Being the season for the squash, I acquired both Butternut and Acorn Squash at the market the other day and I couldn't resist. This soup is so easily prepared. I could have added many varieties of root vegetables but I decided to keep it simple with just the Acorn and Butternut squash, and carrots.
Here we have the Creamy Roasted Squash and Saffron Soup:

1 med sized Butternut squash
1 med Acorn Squash

4 carrots chopped
1 med onion chopped

2 cloves garlic chopped
1/4 stick butter
7 strands saffron
2 bay leaves
8 oz heavy cream
2-3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Chop both squash, carrots, and garlic. Scoop out seeds from the squash and place on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and bake in 425 degree oven until toasty and golden.

Place veggies on a baking sheet and dress with 3 pads of butter and sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.

Sautee chopped onion in 3 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil until lightly golden. Add chopped garlic and sautee for one minute. Add veggies and stir to mix. Pour in stock to almost cover veggies. Add Bay leaves and Saffron. Simmer for at least 20-30 minutes. With an immersion blender blend soup till desired consistently. ( I left mine just a bit chunky, but mostly smooth)
Pour in cream and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

Serve with toasted seeds as garnish.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gala Apple Crumble

The fruit crumble is such a simple and satisfying dessert, or breakfast for that matter. It takes hardly any time to assemble and yet the reward is sweet and satisfying.
I purchased some Gala Apples from Patterson Fruit Farm in Chesterland, Ohio and had every intention in creating a delicate apple pie. But, the apples slowly were eaten one by one and I ended up having only three left. This specific afternoon, I had just finished breakfast and happened to glance upon these three lonely Gala Apples just waiting to be turned into something delicious. Not really wanting to get into a long process of dough creation, the Crumble was the best option.
So here we have:

The Gala Apple Crumble

3 Gala Apples sliced, and then chopped into somewhat small pieces
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbs granulated sugar
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs butter
For Topping:
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbs brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 Tbs oats
2 Tbs cold butter
pinch baking soda

In a medium mixing bowl add all ingredients from top section and stir to mix. Pour into greased baking dish of choice. (I used a bundt pan this time)
Using same bowl add all Topping ingredients and mix the cold butter in until it is a crumby texture. Pour topping onto the Apples.
Bake at 375 degrees til golden and bubbly, about twenty minutes.
As I mentioned above, I only had the three apples left so of course, the recipe can be multiplied for larger amounts. I served the Crumble with a little cream poured over top.
The creaminess and the apples that were both sweet and tart were a perfect afternoon delight.