Monday, September 23, 2013

Dee's Butternut Mabon Soup

So, last night really felt like the first night of Fall/ Mabon. It was crispy outside and I felt a little chill in my old bones. My Wizard was in the garden harvesting, and he walks in with this beautiful basket with a few Butternut squash and tomatillos. Hummm, so I thought, that sounds good for dinner, a nice hearty bowl of Butternut soup, but at the same time, I was craving a little spicy mexican flavor. So, why not try something different and see what happens,.....and so I did.
Wow, to my surprise, it turned out absolutely worth writing this recipe to share with all of you. Delicious, and guess what.... no meat or chicken needed, how about that ???... healthy on top of it, well that's up to you, lol. 
So here we go, I know the list seams long but it's mostly spices, once you get it all chopped up is a breeze and a great meal for 4 adults, a couple of kitties and second servings.


3 Tbsp. Olive or Coconut Oil
3 Tbsp. Butter or Margarine
2 large onions chopped 
2 Celery stalks cleaned chopped 
3 carrots peeled and chopped
6 cloves of garlic minced
1 1/2 tbsp of ground cumin
1 tbsp Turmeric
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Black Pepper
4 sprigs of fresh Thyme 
(tie Thyme and Bay Leaves together with cooking twine, for easy removal later)
2 Bay leaves 
2 tbsp chopped fresh Parsley
5 tbsp of fresh chopped Cilantro
3 small or 2 large Butternut-squash 
(washed, chopped in small squares with skin no seeds)
1 small can of Chipotle Chilies Adobo style. 
(use only 2 chilies with the sauce, freeze the rest for future use)
10 small green tomatillos (the size of a half dollar or 5 larger ones) washes and cut in half.
5 Knorr tomato Bouillon cubes or 5 tbsp of vegetable base Bouillon mixed with 8 cups of boiling water. 
(or use 1/2 of each, I love the Tomato/chicken one, it has great flavor)
1 cup of Almond milk "or" 1 package of softened cream cheese, "or" one cup of reg. milk your choice on the waist line. 😉
1 bunch of cilantro stems and all (about 10)
1 can of corn (rinsed)
1 can on black beans (rinsed and optional)
Corn tortilla chips (optional garnish)
Shredded monterrey & cheddar cheese  (optional garnish)
Sour cream (optional garnish)

Melt the oils with the margarine (or Butter) together. Add onions and caramelize for about 10 minutes. Add the next 11 ingredients and sauté for about 10 more minutes. Add Butternut, Chipotles and tomatillos and sauté to coat all flavors together. Add the Bouillon broth to the pot, cover and simmer for about 35 minutes. Taste it and see if it needs more spices, (salt, pepper, Chipotles), if it does, wait and add them to the blender. You can now remove the little Thyme and Bay leaf bundle and discard it.
Time to blend. I like to spoon all my veggies out of the soup pot and into the blender (or food processor), this way, I have more control on what goes in. I blend about 3/4 of my cooked veggies, so I still have a few chunks left in the soup. Put your veggies in the blender (with just a little bit of the stock), add whatever more spices you think you may need, add the cilantro stems and your choice of milk or cream cheese and blend really good. Add this back into your soup pot and add the can of corn and beans. Allow it to simmer about 15 or 20 more minutes, and serve in soup bowls and garnish with tortilla chips, a little bit of shredded monterrey and cheddar cheese mix, a tsp. of sour cream a couple of cilantro leaves and dig in. Your wont be sorry! 

You can make this Vegan, Vegetarian or regular, it's your choice, as well as making it scrumptious and fattening (for once in a blue moon) or light and still absolutely delightful, either way, I'm sure you'll love it. 
May our Universe and beautiful Mother Earth always provide us with a plentiful harvest, Blessed be.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

DEE’S Comfort French Onion Soup



4 large onions thinly slices in half moons
1 lg. leek thinly sliced (or 10 green onions)
1/2 cup of Butter, 1 cube (or margarine)
7 cloves of minced garlic
3 to 4 fresh sprigs of thyme 
(tied together with cooking twine)
3 bay leaves
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp of flour
1/2 bottle of good red wine
2 boxes of beef broth 
(Trader Joe’s has the best) 
Substitute with vegetable broth for vegetarian/Vegan version

Sliced Rye or French bread, sliced about 1/2” thick and toasted in the oven with a little olive oil brushed on top. Day old bread works wonderful also.

1/2 lb. of grated Gruyere cheese 
(or shredded Monterrey and Italian mix together, I really liked this combination better)

1 shot of Brandy mixed in 5 minutes before putting the soup into the dishes and the broiler, or Courvoisier Cognac is even better if available. Optional

Sauté all onions and garlic with Thyme, salt, Black pepper, and Bay Leaves on medium high until they start caramelizing, about 30 to 35 minutes, keeping an eye so they don’t burn. Add 1 tbsp sugar and mix well and cook for another 5 minutes to help caramelize the onions. Add red wine and allow it to evaporate. Remove bay leaves and Thyme and discard. Turn heat down to medium and sprinkle flour mixing well, and slowly start adding broth. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. 

Taste and add salt if needed. Turn off and add a shot of Brandy or Courvoisier Cognac at this time, this step is optional, but it gives it a very elegant rich taste, great if you have guests during the holidays.

Ladle your soup into oven safe bowls, place toasted bread on top and sprinkle cheese.
Place 3 or 4 bowls in a cookie sheet (I could only fit 3 at a time) and put in a low setting broiler keeping an eye on it, about 4 minutes. Pull out when cheese is melted, bubbling and serve immediately.