Sep 25 2011

Autumn in New York

Published by Christine at 12:19 pm under Soups

Today, the September sun is turning everything to gold. It’s the kind of day that’s perfect for apple picking, or for lazing in the last of the warm days of the year. I was just outside, and I found some pretty things around my house:

Over the mountain and through the woods


September light

We are getting together with a few friends this afternoon, in anticipation of a few birthdays (including yours truly’s) and anniversaries to be celebrated this week. The get-together is pot-luck, and I was lucky enough to get to chose which part of the meal I wanted to make. That’s always an easy answer for me: let there be soup.

Soup is, of course, the best food there is: you can have it cold in the summer, or hot when it’s chilly out. It can be as light as a simple broth, or almost stew-like. In the winter, I often make soups rich with beans and a multitude of vegetables, the kind of concoction that only needs some fresh bread, and maybe a salad, to call itself a meal. It takes nothing to cook, makes the house smell wonderful, tastes like heaven, and leaves you feeling like all is well in the world, at least for a little while. Soup for President, I say.

It’s autumn in New York, and I instinctively turn to making soups that look and feel seasonal, warmly orange and golden, with a touch of cinnamon and ginger. My favorite at this time of year?

Isn't it the most beautiful color?

The hardest part of making this soup is cutting the squash in half. It can be a little hard to cut it evenly, but if you place it on a dish cloth first to stabilize it, and use a sharp knife, you can manage it quite well. After that, it’s only a matter of roasting it in the oven, and adding it to some onions, carrots and celery that have been sautéed in a little bit of olive oil. Some spices and stock, a blender, and you’re done. Bliss.

I now leave you with Lady Day, and my favorite song of hers, which truly captures the essence of a time and place with nothing but magic:



Curried Butternut Squash Soup


1 medium to large butternut squash
3 carrots
2 celery stalks
2 small or 1 large yellow onion
2 Tbsp olive oil + some for drizzling
5 cups water or stock
1.5 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp cinammon
salt and pepper to taste
heavy cream (optional)

Halve squash. With a spoon, remove seeds. Place in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 375 until soft (approx. 30 to 40 min). Scoop flesh out and set aside.

Still Life with Squash

Chop carrots, onions and celery.

Don't bother chopping the veggies too small; they'll all get puréed in the end.

Saute onions in olive oil until they begin to color, then add carrots and celery, and let cook until the mix is golden. Add spices and mix well. Let the spices become fragrant (about 30 seconds or so), then add water or stock, and squash. Cover and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and let the soup simmer. In about 30 min., your soup will be done. Let it cool for a while before processing with an immersion blender (or in a standing blender, whichever you prefer). Add a little salt and pepper if needed.

Serve warm or hot in bowls or cups, with a little bit of heavy cream drizzled on top (optional). Sit back and enjoy.

It might look like it's Rorschach time, but it's happy soup time.


5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Autumn in New York”

  1. Deb Amlenon 25 Sep 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Huzzah! I’ve been waiting for this one! Welcome back and Happy Birthday!!! When are we getting together to celebrate?

  2. Christineon 25 Sep 2011 at 1:26 pm

    It’s good to be back. :) Enjoy the soup, and I’ll PM you soon for a get-together.

  3. Julianneon 28 Sep 2011 at 7:09 pm

    This looks fantastic. I just want to go apple picking and sit down with a bowl of this right now :) I love reading The Flex. I really need to write some of these recipes down and re-create one of the dishes! I am already looking forward to the next post. Also, Happy Birthday! We both share autumn birthdays. It is definitely my favorite time of year.

  4. Christineon 29 Sep 2011 at 8:46 am

    Welcome to The Flex, Julie! Good to have you here. :)

  5. Sherylon 08 Oct 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Making it again today…one of my favorites from my Soup Guru! YUM!

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