Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Remedy for a Cold...and Rainy Day

I awoke early this morning with a smidgen of a sore throat. Was I too dehydrated from the kitchen and a long run yesterday? Or did my lack of sleep and running in the rain with a sleeveless top catch up with me? Not sure. All I knew is that my throat needed some cooling comfort and TLC.

It was another utterly rainy day. I didn't mind being inside in class all day one bit, secretly hoping skies would clear by 3pm. But, no. The rain was still coming down. Kind of one of those days you want to curl up with a good book in front of a fireplace with a big bowl of soup.

Of course, I came home from school ravenously hungry, and craving some warm comfort -- and some nutrients with the hopes of kicking this sore throat. Of course, I didn't really want to run to the grocery store, not did I want to spend 2 hours in front of the stove. I wanted some instant, okay, well maybe not INSTANT, gratification. Scrounging around the fridge, I found half of a butternut squash, and had lots of apples...mmm...I knew just what to make!!!

One of my favorite soups of all time is Eli Zabar's Pumpkin Butternut soup. It's rich and delicious, but living in CT, I didn't have access to it. Another favorite is Ina Garten's Butternut Apple Soup - with some brioche croutons, this is delish!

Now, I didn't have a full squash, nor apple juice nor brioche, but I was confident I could use the ingredients I had on hand to create a wonderful soup, full of healthy vitamins and minerals (Butternut squash is full of Vitamin A (Beta Carotene), Vitamin C and Potassium) and fiber - filling (even my labs liked it!).

My Curried Apple Butternut Squash Soup - serves 2-3

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, 1/2" dice
1 /2 - 1 tablespoon curry (I like more - use as much as you wish)
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2" chunks
2 small or 1 large apple (I like Cortland or yellow delicious for this), peeled and diced into 1/2" chunks
2 cups water
1/2 cup applesauce
Optional: dash of cream and/or tablespoon of butter

1. Saute onions in olive oil until translucent. Add curry powder and cook on low for 5-10 minutes.

2. Add diced squash and apple. Saute a bit to warm and then add water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until apples and squash are tender through.

3. Add applesauce and stir. Use a blender or an immersion blender to blend to smooth. Season with salt to taste. Optional: add cream, milk, and/or butter to taste. I was going to try calvados
to bring out the apple sweetness but didn't have any on hand. I decided for a bit of butter and a dash of maple syrup. You can even try a garnish of creme fraiche!

Serve with crusty toast, or as I did - with oat crackers!

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