It is -42 degrees Celsius with the windchill in Regina today, and it’s one of those days where you have to bring out all the things that bring you warmth and comfort. So far today, I’ve relied on a steaming mug of coffee, some baby snuggles, my thick reading socks from Chapters, and a hot mug of Pumpkin Spice tea. And that was just for this morning.
Now for lunch, I am bringing out two of my other secret weapons to combat the cold – carbs and soup! I’m going to make some pan bread and a big pot of butternut squash soup.
The prep work for this soup is a little time consuming because there are a lot of veggies in it. Take a look at all the chopped veggies that go into it:
But I’m telling you, the nutritious punch that this soup gives you is well worth the time and effort. Throughout my pregnancy and now that I’m breastfeeding, I’ve been constantly trying to get more fruits and veggies into my diet. There are some nights where I’ll reflect on what I’ve eaten that day, and I’ll feel so guilty when I realize that I’ve only had one or two servings of fruits or vegetables. There will be no guilt tonight (and tomorrow when I eat leftovers) though! This soup is jam packed with nutritious orange, beta-carotene-filled vegetables such as the butternut squash, carrots, and yam, and loads of garlic to fight off any cold or flu bugs!
Just a word of warning: this soup has a slight kick due to the 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in it. It’s quite amazing what a mighty kick 1/4 teaspoon brings to the soup! So if you don’t like spicy foods or if you’re going to be feeding this to your kids, I would recommend omitting the 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper altogether. I’m eating a bowl of it as I’m typing this, and I’m actually sweating a bit despite the frosty weather outside.
Well, the husband is off to his work Christmas party tonight and I’m staying in with the baby. With this soup, some baby snuggles, and one last season of The West Wing to finish, there is no reason for me to leave the house in -40-something weather!
It’s been awhile since my last post, but I’ve been feeling a little lazy lately. With this gloomy and cold weather, all I’ve wanted to do is cuddle up with my baby and binge watch The West Wing (Martin Sheen For President!). I was a little too young to appreciate this show when it was on TV years ago, but man, I am addicted now! The writing is quick, intelligent, witty and at times, emotional. The characters are so relatable and believable, and the acting is so good I forget that they are actors. I’m on season 6 of 7, and I can already feel the depression setting in for when I’ve finished the DVDs. Does anyone have any other intelligent, political show recommendations? I’m already caught up on House of Cards but I might rewatch all of the seasons after I finish The West Wing. Anyways, I digress…
My baby slept well last night so I also have some extra energy today to make a nice homemade soup. This creamy tomato soup is perfect for cold snaps like today. It’s full of fresh vegetables and vitamins which will help you stave off all the cold and flu germs that are going around. There are so many recipes out there that use canned tomatoes in the soup, but this recipe uses fresh whole tomatoes. Trust me – the taste difference is unreal.
Can we also talk about how economical it is to make this fresh homemade soup? You can get all the ingredients to make a big pot of this soup for under $15 – even less when the broth or tomatoes are on sale (which they often are at Sobeys or Safeway).
Give this soup a try this week and I promise it will warm you right up. Serve it with this pan bread or with a grilled cheese sandwich for a heartier meal.
Hi everyone! Sorry for the long absence away from this blog. I’m still working out my schedule of when to cook and blog as a new mom. I think I have it figured out though. My husband works shift work, where he works blocks of four or five days and nights, and then has four or five days off. For the days where he is working, I for sure will not be posting on this blog as it is just me at home taking care of the baby and there are days I don’t even shower, let alone cook and blog about it. I will still be present on social media though, as it is amazing how much time I’ve spent on my phone while nursing the baby around the clock! On the four or five days that he is home, I will binge cook and binge post as much as I can while he watches the baby!
So for that reason, I am posting on this specific recipe on this chilly Saturday morning because:
The husband is upstairs napping with the baby
Butternut squash is in season
Butternut squash was on sale at Sobeys this week
I’ve been craving something hearty like pasta, but at the same time, I’ve been feeling super guilty that I haven’t been eating enough vegetables lately. This recipe is the best of both worlds – a creamy pasta that contains a whole squash in it!
This recipe calls for a cup of Parmesan cheese for the sauce, as well as some as a garnish on the pasta. I cannot stress enough that it is important to buy good quality Parmesan cheese, the kind that comes in a block and you have to grate yourself. Don’t buy the pre-shredded cheese that comes in a bag or a can – that stuff is preserved with chemicals and will ruin any recipe. For this recipe, I used a nice piece of Grana Padano cheese.
This recipe is adapted and modified from a recipe that I saw on those Tasty videos on Facebook.
This recipe would make for a great ‘Meatless Monday’ dinner, just substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock. We don’t have Meatless Mondays in our house as the husband is a huge carnivore so he actually adds a chicken breast onto his pasta.
Enjoy this recipe and I will be back soon with another one!
Melt the butter on medium heat in a large pot and add the onion, rosemary and sage. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the onions are soft. Turn up the heat to medium-high until the butter begins to brown (be careful not to let it burn).
Turn down the stove to medium again, and add in the diced butternut squash and the chicken stock. Give it a good stir, then cover the pot with a lid and let it cook for 15 minutes on the medium heat.
Uncover the pot and mash the butternut squash with a potato masher until all the squash is pureed. Add in 2 cups of milk and stir. Add in 1 cup of the grated Parmesan cheese and stir. Then add in the brown sugar, nutmeg, some salt and pepper to taste and stir until well blended.
Add in the fettucine noodles, then pour in 2 more cups of milk and 2 cups of water. You can break the fettuccine noodles in half if you want. I just stick them in the pot until the bottom half of the noodles are soft, then gently fold down the rest of the noodles until they are all submerged in the sauce.
Stir the pasta continuously so that it doesn't burn to the bottom of the pot and cook for 20 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
Top with salt, pepper and some more grated parmesan cheese for a hearty meal!