Whoops.

* Messed up my link on one of my posts: http://whatwouldanerdwear.blogspot.com is the right one :)

Happy Mother’s Day!

My mom came home from Jordan today and my three siblings met her with three roses. I’m so proud! They’ve become so thoughtful. My mom is awesome. She works so hard and her patience and thoughtfulness have no bounds. We get on each other’s nerves, laugh together until we cry, cry together until we laugh (…eventually… We’re both crybabies). She’s also the best cook I know, and her retirement plan is to open a restaurant. Maybe I’ll put it into my bed & breakfast dreams.

the ladies

I’m really looking forward to being closer to her again and maybe finally be able to attend her birthday after five years of being away in school or work!  ♥

One of the things my mom loves to eat but hasn’t been able to replicate (yet) is butternut squash soup, modeled after the soup that was served at Cibo, which is one of the best Italian places I’ve ever, ever eaten at in Manila, and in the world for that matter. Their pasta, bruschette, and paninis are just DIVINE, I tell you. I’ll definitely put them on my “To eat” list for my upcoming vacation.

This is my own personal attempt at making butternut squash soup. I also had a spare zucchini (that sounds odd, doesn’t it…) so I threw that in as well! I used a package of butternut squash that was on sale from Kroger. It’s from Stahlbush Island Farms in Corvallis, OR and it made me nostalgic for the Willamette Valley. I didn’t cry. I’m a crybaby, yes, but I still have some self-control.

yummy and buttery!!+

Butternut squash from Willamette Valley, OR! woo!

Creamy Zucchini and Butternut Squash Soup

what you need:

olive oil
1 tbsp butter (I like Brummel & Brown yogurt butter)
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
1 package chopped butternut squash (I’d encourage you to buy fresh, but chopping/hacking squash is work)
1 zucchini, diced
3 cups really good chicken stock or broth
1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, more if you want some heat *
1-2 tbsp maple syrup

optional
1/4 cup plain soymilk or milk, heavy cream if you’re feeling indulgent
plain yogurt, to serve

how how how:

Heat some olive oil and the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and stir, and cook until limp and softened. Add the butternut squash and chopped zucchini. Cook until lightly browned all over. Add the chicken stock slowly, scraping up any bits at the bottom of the pan. Add nutmeg, s&p, and cayenne pepper, and maple syrup.

* I actually, uh, dropped a lot of cayenne pepper into my soup. Thankfully, I like spicy food, so it was fine. Add more or less spices to your taste. As a way to kind of balance out the spiciness, I decided to add some maple syrup and it was a delicious discovery. It complements the natural buttery and sweet flavor of the squash. I do love maple syrup though, so if you don’t (!?) then omit it.

Boil, stirring occasionally, for around 20-30 minutes until everything the squash & zuke are tender and start to break down. Once soft, turn down the heat. At this point I took a potato masher and mashed the soft veggies until smooth; I’ve read some recipes where they put this in a blender, but the idea of blending and pouring hot soup scares me a little. I like the homey texture of handmashing.

Add the soymilk/milk/cream, if using, at this point. Adjust your seasonings, and heat through. Serve with a dollop of yogurt and a piece of crusty bread. Eat this with your mom and share lots of laughs. Yum!

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