Day Nine: Christmas Recipe
This year, we wanted to share our favorite traditions, our excitement over new ones, and our desire to give back. The result? 12 Days of Sundquist Christmas! We’ve been sharing what our employees enjoy most around the Holidays. Our secret recipes, favorite DIY decorating tips, and Christmas traditions are here for you to read. We hope this inspires you to share what you love about the Holiday Season with those you love.
On the ninth day of Sundquist Christmas, we give to you another Holiday Recipe from the pantry of Kristi Sundquist! Here she is:
I love the Pacific Northwest. I love the mountains, the trees, the clean air, the water, and yes, even the rain. But every now and then, the monotonous gray, damp, and cool begins to get even to me… so I make soup.
There is something very fulfilling about taking individual parts and pieces then turning them into something as stunning as this vibrant, flavorful, meal-unto-itself. Then after? When you curl up with a bowl and a crusty piece of bread to read a book or watch the rain fall… you’ll have gone from being sick of the gray to loving it again. Soup chases the dreary clouds away from the depths of your soul.
Usually when I make this soup I make a batch big enough to freeze into individual bags for future lunches and such. Every time this proves to be a mistake. In concept, it’s great, but I always want it all immediately and would be better off just leaving it in my fridge… because it takes longer to thaw and eat when it’s frozen. =)
Another fantastic part of this soup is its infinite possibilities. Want something a touch sweeter? Add a few pears or apples while cooking it down. Spices more your thing? Add a couple tablespoons of curry to taste to liven it up. A whisper of truffle oil steps this up to dinner party material, or toss in a couple of persimmons then try to get your friends to guess what the “secret” flavor is.
It doesn’t matter the occasion; from quiet lunches alone to large weeknight dinners, to a game night with friends to an elegant holiday dinner this soup should have a place on your menu and in your stomach.
So let’s cook!
We start by cutting up the butternut squash into similar size chunks, then topping with some roughly chopped onions. These will all get pureed out when the soup is finished, so no need to worry about perfection or knife skills here!
Add two boxes of kitchen stock, (48 oz) cover, and cook over medium-high heat for about an hour. Make sure to monitor it so it doesn’t boil over. (Not speaking from experience here. Nope, not a bit…)
Once everything is well softened, you get to the fun part. Remove from the heat and grab your immersion blender. And blend. The soup will start to thicken up. Take your final box of chicken stock and add in batches to keep the blender moving. (This will make total sense as you do it.)
And blend. I always feel like this part takes forever and as I’m looking at this chunky mess I feel like I’ve ruined dinner horribly. So KEEP GOING! The soup will eventually smooth out and will become the silky, creamy texture you are expecting.
(Alternatively, you can use a regular blender to do this in batches. But an immersion blender will make this MUCH easier.)
Next, add olive oil, nutmeg, and cinnamon and continue to blend. If you’re wondering what that white thing is, I have a nutmeg grinder and it is totally worth the couple of bucks to be able to grind it fresh. (Not to mention that whole nutmeg is cheaper than the pre-ground stuff and lasts for MUCH longer!) Not a necessary touch, but a strong recommend!
Salt gets added to taste, then put it all back on low heat, cover, (because this stuff is like thick, boiling hot lava at this point and you SO do not want it on your arms/clothes/stove/backsplash…) and let simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes
Eat it warm, with a dollop of sour cream* and a swirl of olive oil that I forgot in the photo because I really just wanted it for dinner right then. (If you don’t want it to be vegan. Did I mention it’s vegan? And healthy?)
Winter Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
2 large butternut squashes
1 large onion
3 boxes of chicken stock (72 oz)
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
Sea salt to taste
Optional: a dollop of sour cream for topping
- Chop butternut squash and onions into evenly sized pieces and place in a large cooking pot. Add 2 boxes (48 oz) of chicken stock and cook over medium-high heat for 1 hour, or until very soft.
- Remove from heat and using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth, adding the final box of stock in batches as you go. Add olive oil, nutmeg, and cinnamon and blend until combined.
- Add salt to taste, then cover and simmer on low heat for another 10-15 minutes.
- Serve warm, with a dollop of sour cream and a drizzle of olive oil.