A couple of weeks ago, as I made , my daughter Caitlin asked what I was making.
“It really smells good,” she added. I sensed an opening, and told her. “Oh,” she said. “I thought you were making bread.”
Later, at dinner, the topic of new year’s resolutions came up. I asked my kids – Caitlin, age 9, Sean, age 7, and Quinn, age “four-and-three-quarters” – if they knew what a New Year’s resolution was. The older ones said they did – they had been discussing them in school – and Quinn went along. With that, I said that I had a resolution for them to consider.
“Getting along better with each other?” Caitlin offered, spontaneously.
“Picking up our toys?” suggested Sean.
“Not talking back?”
“Keeping our rooms clean?”
“Doing our homework without complaining?”
The thoughts were offered rapidfire, and I was overwhelmed by their quantity and quality.
“These are all fabulous ideas,” I finally said, once there was a pause, “and you should try to do all of these. My thought was that you should all work to try more new foods this year.”
Who would have thought that the idea of trying a new food, even one that they professed smelled good, would be worse than cleaning their rooms? I fear I’m in for another frustrating food year.
In the meantime, I’m working on my generic yet solid resolutions of exercising more and eating better, with special focus on more fruits and veggies for me, Jeremy, and the kids. (I also resolve to get a new smoke detector, after already setting our kitchen one off about five times already in the new year.)
As for the fruits and veggies, I got the idea to make this soup simply by looking at all the different vegetables I had lying together in a basket. As you’ll see, I only used half of each – the other half, I cut into cubes, tossed with olive oil and kosher salt, and roasted at 450 degrees for about 35 minutes, resulting in two vegetable sides for two different days! (Of course, for now, I’m the only one eating them….)
Winter Vegetable Soup
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 large shallot, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 large baking potato, cut into 1” cubes
- 1/2 large sweet potato, cut into 1” cubes
- 1/2 large butternut squash, cut into 1” cubes
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and sauté about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes, squash, sugar and salt and pepper, and then pour in enough chicken broth so that the top layer is about 3/4 submersed in broth; turn heat to medium high and bring to a slow boil. Let simmer for about 20 minutes or until all vegetables are tender, then puree using either an immersion or stand-alone blender. Add more broth if needed to reach desired consistency (or, for richer soup, add 1/2 cup half-and-half). Experiment with adding other spices too – like ginger, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, etc.