butternut squash soup

I know you're all going as fall crazy as I am, so it is with great pleasure that I add to your fall frenzy by bringing this pot of goodness into your lives. Our home will see a giant pot of this soup three to four times every fall. And when I say three to four, I really mean six to seven. I've already made it twice.

It makes my list of top-three-most-requested-recipes from all the happy people I feed it to. I make it for casual weeknight gatherings, bumping fall festivals, Thanksgiving dinner, and if you have a baby or a bad day anywhere between September and December, I will bring you this soup.

Unlike most butternut squash soups, this one stays chunky - no pureeing. In the end, your bowl doesn't look fancy or quite as photo friendly, but I have watched children and grown men plow through three bowls of this goodness.

You have to try it.

It's a recipe worthy memorizing, and with only six ingredients (plus salt) it can be a go-to for nights you are standing in the grocery store desperately coming up with a dinner plan. However, for the sake of complete honesty here at 44 & Oxford, I will warn you in advance of this recipe's one and only downside. It needs to simmer for about an hour. You can get away with 45 minutes but really no less. So just be sure when you're standing in that grocery store, it is 4:00 pm and not 5:45 pm.

Feel free to do all your chopping the night before to cut down on the prep time.

The original recipes calls for 6 tablespoons of butter. I have never used that much. I have no problem dropping sticks of butter into my biscuits, pie crusts, and sugar cookies, but I just can't do it to my soup. Your call.

This recipe serves 4, but you'll probably want to double it.

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4 cups butternut squash, diced into small squares (You can easily get 4 cups from one large squash, probably more. Adding more is perfectly acceptable.)

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 1 large celery stalk, diced

  • 6 cups chicken broth

  • Salt

Melt the butter in a soup pot.

Add the squash, carrots, onions, and celery. Stir them all up to help coat the veggies with butter.

Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, for 8-10 minutes.

Add the broth and season with salt.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for one hour.

I stay pretty simple with this soup, but I suppose some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano would make a nice finishing touch. Or better yet, grab a crusty loaf of bread before leaving that grocery store.

Happy fall!

And just in case you're in need of a yummy pile of fall for breakfast, here is the recipe for our favorite pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes!

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lentil chili (sausage optional)

I have made this chili a handful of times and usually end up standing over the pot, shoveling spoonfuls into my mouth while I'm supposed to be doing dishes.

It is everything you hope for in a chili -  filling, flavorful, freezable, (I really didn't intend for all my descriptors to begin with f) and easily adaptable to what I feel like or have on hand.

Most weeknight meals in our home are vegetarian, and this one has definitely claimed a spot in my wintertime rotation.  However, this past week I had some chicken sausage links already opened, so I threw them in.  You can't go wrong by adding sausage, but truthfully, this chili is equally fantastic without.

Either way, make this soon.

  • 4 links precooked chicken sausage, sliced into coins

  • 8 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock, divided

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 1 red pepper, diced

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 4 tsp. chili powder

  • 1 package of lentils (16 oz. bag)

  • 2 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes

  • a good handful of chopped cilantro (Unless you're making this for my sister-in-law who doesn't like cilantro...what?!?!? Crazy.)

Heat a large pot on medium high heat. 

If you are using sausage, drop that in and let it cook for about five minutes, until lightly browned on both sides. 

 
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Add onion, red pepper, carrot, and garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently until the veggies start to stick to the bottom of the pan - about five minutes. 

 
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Add 3 TB of broth and continue cooking the veggies until soft and lightly browned. 

Add chili powder.  Stir constantly for one minute. 

Add lentils, tomatoes, and the rest of the broth.  Bring to a boil. 

Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, on medium low heat for about thirty minutes. 

Uncover and cook for about ten more minutes.

Stir in cilantro and serve.

Go back for seconds.

creamy corn and veggie soup

In our home, soup is a year-round go-to.  I will unashamedly admit to simmering a pot of soup in the middle of July, and as soon as fall hits, my soup making really kicks into high gear. Three pots a week is not uncommon, and here's why.

Soup is the perfect way to load up on the veggies.  For the life of me,  I cannot get my three year old to like raw red peppers.  Dice 'em up, throw 'em in some soup, and she's on board.  Amen.

Most soups fall into the "chop and drop" category.  This means I can plop my children on the counter, and they're content to sample raw potatoes and gnaw on a onion (strange, but true) while I get chopping.  The measuring is minimal which means I don't have to think much.  Thank goodness.

Soup recipes are so easy to double (and even triple if only I had a pot big enough), and most recipes freeze well too.  This means an easy dinner down the road, and that makes mama happy. Win for everyone.

I pack four lunches a day, and one could argue that soup is almost always better the next day.  This means lunch packing just became super yummy and super simple.  Hallelujah.

Stephen posted this Creamy Corn and Veggie Soup last week on our Instagram account, @bakeitlikebecker (are you a follower?!?!).  There were requests for some recipes, and I'm happy to share this veggie-packed goodness. (Never fear, there's bacon and cream, too.)


Creamy Corn and Veggie Soup

  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil

  • 3-4 slices of bacon, chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 red pepper

  • 10 ounce bag of frozen corn

  • 2 small zucchinis

  • About a pound of potatoes (This time I used russet, but I have used red potatoes in the past.)

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tsp. paprika

  • 1 tsp. chili powder

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 TB flour

  • 4 cups chicken stock

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 cup cream (I admit I used half and half this time because it's all I had. Still yummy, but we all know cream would have been better.

Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. 

Add the bacon and cook until it is close to crispy. 

Toss in the onion, garlic, and pepper and cook until those soften up.

Add the corn, zucchini, potatoes, bay leaf, paprika, chili powder and some S&P. Give it a good stir and let it cook for about five minutes.

Sprinkle the flour into the pot, stir, and cook for about a minute.

Slowly add the broth, milk, and cream. Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

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Happy Soup Season!

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