Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Comfort Recipes for These Snowy Days, Part 1

I've refrained as of late from posting my weekly menu because of the few recipes failures I had back in December. Well I'm back with a vengeance to deliver several stellar recipes to you. The first, Golden Winter Soup, came to me by way of Cooking Light. I made a few modifications so I'm posting my version below. Although they look quite tasty, I didn't make the croutons that were to adorn the soup. Instead, I wanted something more substantial to make a more complete meal, so I opted for Southern Living's Greek Beef Wraps.

Both recipes were really good and I'd recommend them both. The soup was creamy and rich and perfect for a cold winter's night (take note that it serves 8 comfortably). The wraps were a good accompaniment and provided a little boost of flavor that the meal needed. The only modifications I made were to use a regular onion instead of a red one, I made my own Greek seasoning to avoid purchasing an entire bottle, and used THE best onion flatbread! I had a feeling this recipe would be dependent on the bread exterior and while the filling did carry itself well, I was right. I wish I had taken a picture of the onion flatbread because it was great! The best I can tell you is I got it at Good Foods Coop and it resembles the Indian bread, naan. These were both great reheated the next day too.
Golden Winter Soup

2 T. butter
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4-5 cups)
4 small Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1/2-inch pieces
pinch of salt and pepper
2 medium leeks, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
4 cups free-range chicken broth (I used a combination of low-sodium and full sodium since I don't usually add salt)
2/3 cup half and half

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash, potatoes, salt and pepper; saute 3 minutes. Add leek; saute 1 minute. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes, or until veggies are fork-tender, stirring occasionally. Place half the soup in a blender (you could use an immersion blender if you have one that works better than mine!). Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape), place towel over opening, and blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat with remaining squash/potato mixture. Add all pureed soup back to Dutch oven and stir in half and half (you do not have to turn the heat back on). Cover to keep warm until you're ready to serve.

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