I mentioned in my post yesterday that it took Kevin and I over six hours to get our kitchen unpacked and set up. I had no idea it would take so long (although I don’t know why not based on the number of boxes we had laying around) and once I was done I had absolutely no desire to cook. Good thing then that I have a husband who loves to grill, because he whipped up some bratwursts and we had one of my absolute favorite meals.
Clearly, this picture is not of our mouthwatering dinner of bratwurst (and beer). It is, however, another one of my favorite meals – butternut squash soup!
I had intended to make butternut squash soup on Saturday once we finished the kitchen – it was one of the twenty things on our Saturday to-do list that didn’t get done. Other items included buying a desk for our office, hanging pictures in the house, and doing yard work. I adore having a yard, but one thing that comes with having a yard on the East Coast is all the work that comes with maintaining it – such as mowing, raking leaves, and shoveling snow. We’ve been in the new place just over two weeks, and our yard was in major need of mowing…except that we don’t yet have a lawnmower. So while we took a short break to reheat some leftovers for lunch (on the stove, because we don’t have a microwave), Kevin ran next door to ask our neighbor (I’m going to call him Bill for the sake of this story although that isn’t his real name) if he could borrow his lawnmower so we could mow our lawn. Kevin also brought over some cookies we baked the other night in response to the brownies that Bill’s wife brought over for us last week. Anyway, I’m not sure how the conversation went because Kevin came back over and we immediately went back to work tackling our boxes, but a short while later we hear a lawnmower start up – and we look out our window to see Bill mowing our lawn! Apparently Kevin told him he’d be over once we finished the kitchen, but Bill took it upon himself to mow our lawn for us! Not only that, but once he finished he got out his leaf blower and cleared our deck of all the fallen leaves that seem to multiply overnight. (At this point, Kevin turned to me and said, “It’s official. We also need to buy a leaf blower.”)
If that isn’t a sign of Christian love, I don’t know what is. Bill certainly didn’t need to mow our lawn for us – nor did he have to clear off our deck for us either. But he did it to be a good neighbor, and things like that stay with you. It certainly make Kevin and I look at our lives a bit different and think to ourselves – who can we be a blessing to today? Bill was indeed a blessing to us, and we are so thankful to have him and his wife as our neighbors.
But, back to the soup. Because I didn’t end up making it on Saturday, I made it Sunday afternoon instead…which actually ended up to be quite nice. I stayed downstairs, making soup and straightening up around the house while Kevin hung curtains in our bedroom and set up the desk in our office area. It was a beautiful day on Sunday as well – crisp and clear and full of fall colors. The temperature has dropped considerably which I love – proof positive it is officially fall!
This soup was the perfect dinner to end a great (and productive!) day. Warm, creamy, slightly nutty and slightly sweet; you can’t really go wrong with a huge bowl of butternut squash soup. Paired with a simple salad, it’s an easy and rustic fall dish for a chilly day. Plus, it’s delicious!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
yields: 2 quarts (approximately)
prep time: 30 minutes
cook time: 45-60 minutes
1 butternut squash
1 large sweet potato
2 medium yellow onions
3 cloves garlic (optional)
6 oz homemade chicken broth + 6 oz water (or 12 oz store bought chicken stock)
1/2 can coconut milk (approximately 8 oz)
1 tsp sage
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp butter
Peel and chop all vegetables. In a large pot melt your butter over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, approximately 5 minutes. Add squash and sweet potato and stir to combine. Add chicken broth, water, and spices. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes. Working in batches, transfer soup to a food processor and puree until smooth. Return to pan over medium heat, add coconut milk, and cook until warm. Add additional spices if necessary.