I really haven’t been minding the snow lately. I am surprised. I guess as long as I an nice and toasty, indoors and bundled up, it’s not so bad. Although Saturday did suck. Not the day itself – we went to two excellent holiday parties and saw a bunch of people we like. That part was great. The weather was thw awful part. First it was an intense snow storm. I sat inside with Kramer, baking and watching movies and thinking how pretty the snow looked. Once I was out in it, my tune quickly changed. Then there was rain. Then three was sleet. It was so dumb. Kramer, our friend Danny and I were slipping around like a bunch of idiots trying to go from one place to the next. My boots were completely soaked and it took two days for my coat to finally dry out. I thought hanging it up nicely on our coat rack would do the trick, but nope. Oh well. I’m once again warm and toasty and thinking how nice it looks outside. I’m sure I’ll be thinking something quite different as soon as I have to head outside.
Holiday party times.
We had our company holiday party two weeks ago but I’m just getting around to posting these photos now. I ended up setting up a “photo booth” for party. That means that I grabbed a tripod and a camera, used the flash I already had at home, bought a remote and some silly hats, then told people to snap away. It was really fun! I’m hoping to make it a regular thing, at both work events and maybe even parties of my own. Who doesn’t love a photo booth? I usually don’t mind walking around shoving my camera in people’s faces, but this solution is much less intrusive. You just have to ply people with a few drinks, first.
I am really proud of this soup. I make butternut squash soup pretty often, but sometimes it’s not as hearty as I’d like it to be on a cold winter day. I decided to use the same method I used in my summer corn soup, where I made a corn stock with the ears instead of using chicken broth, and then I stirred the kernels into the soup instead of pureeing them along with the squash. The result was similar to any other chowder you’d get, but completely vegetarian and perfect for bringing to work for lunch during the week. If you can’t find fresh corn, then you can certainly use vegetable stock and frozen corn kernels, but once you see corn hitting the market again, definitely pick some up! This soup also did well in the freezer – I thawed some out for an easy after-work dinner and it was just as good as the day that I made it. There’s no such thing as too much soup this time of year.
This is a new kind of selfie, I guess. Remote selfie.
Get your corn stock going while your squash roasts.
Toss your vegetables together and roast them at 400 degrees F for 30-40 minutes.
Then puree until smooth and fold in the corn (yes, I had something else in the crock pot while I was making this soup – I am forever cooking).
Garnish with a little crushed red pepper flakes and some oregano leaves, if you like.
- 4 ears of corn, kernels removed and ears reserved
- 2 leeks (or 1 large onion), thinly sliced
- 2 small (or 1 large) butternut squash, cubed
- 2-3 large potatoes, cubed
- 4 cloves garlic, not peeled
- 3 sprigs fresh oregano (or ½ teaspoon dried oregano)
- ⅓ cup olive oil (or more if needed)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Remove the kernels from your corn and set aside. Place the ears of corn in a large stock pot and add in 8-10 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil with the corn in it, then reduce the heat and simmer until the butternut squash is done roasting, stirring occasionally. Discard the ears of corn when ready and set the broth aside.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking tray with parchment paper or foil. Slice your leeks (or onion), cube your squash and potatoes, and toss them together with your garlic, oregano, olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
- If you have an immersion blender, you can just pour your vegetables into your stock pot and puree them in there with the corn stock. If not, puree them in batches, adding the corn stock as needed, in a food processor. Puree until smooth. Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed. Stir in the corn kernels with a wooden spoon and serve.