Thai Butternut Peanut Soup

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1 cup sweet potato peeled and diced into ½ inch dice

1 cut carrot peeled and diced into ½ inch dice

3 cups butternut squash peeled and diced into ½ inch dice

Olive oil

¼ teaspoon curry powder

4 cups low sodium chicken stock (or homemade if you have in your freezer)

1 14 ounce can coconut milk

1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter

1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

½ cup chopped peanuts

Salt and white pepper

 

Preheat oven to 400F.  In a large soup pot that is suitable for the oven (with ovenproof cover), place the sweet potato, carrot and butternut squash.  Coat with a few tablespoons of olive oil, the curry powder, salt and pepper, cover and roast in the oven until all of the vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and place on range top. You’ll see that some of the vegetables even have taken on a bit of color.

 

NOTE:  If you like you may remove the cover and roast uncovered for the full duration, and the vegetables will have a darker color and therefore more caramelized flavor. Either way the soup is delicious. 

 

After removing from the oven, add the chicken broth, coconut milk and ginger and simmer for about 5 minutes over low heat.

Check the seasonings all throughout cooking.  Add the peanut butter and stir well. Take an immersion blender and puree the soup or place the solids (taken out with a slotted spoon) into a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth.  Return to soup pot and stir.  Add the chopped cilantro, and chopped peanuts and again, check the seasonings and adjust with salt and pepper.  Enjoy! Serves 6-8. 

Spaghetti Sauce

So on the way home last night in that torrential rain storm, I asked Rand what he wanted for dinner and he casually responded, how about some spaghetti sauce?  Not one to disappoint him, I said yes and then went on to figuring out how to make the spaghetti sauce which typically requires about 4 hours, in about 2.  Well it was easy.  Remember back when I told you all about spaghetti sauce and how it didn’t require the better part of the day.  Well that is still true, especially in this case, where I was using ground beef and sausage, instead of the chuck roast beef that I would roast in the tomato sauce for hours until it fell apart.  So here we go:

1 pound ground beef

1 pound Italian sausage, hot or sweet (out of its casing)

1 small onion chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup red wine (pinot, cab)

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 large cans tomato puree

1 large can water

That’s it!

In a little olive oil, in a large dutch oven, sautee the onion and garlic until transluscent, over medium heat.  Add the beef and the sausage and cook until no longer pink.  Add the tomato paste and fry the tomato paste for a few minutes, then add the balsamic vinegar and cook until almost dry but still a little moist.  Add the wine, cook for a few minutes to cook out the alchohol.  Then add the tomatoes and the water, and salt and pepper it to your liking.  Cook for about 1.5 hours, covered and over low hear and it’s ready.  This meat sauce was so delicious, and unattended, it can cook itself (just make sure you are on LOW).  Enjoy!

 

PS.  On pizza, this sauce is amazing!p1010088

I’ve been so busy!

OMG I am so sorry I have not written in now, almost a month!  I am not worthy!  I’ve been so busy with other things that I can no longer discuss.  So for now, I will continue blogging about recipes and such, and am looking forward to making the Almond Cookies again this weekend for Debbie’s party!  Have a great weekend everybody!