Monday, November 14, 2011

Wintry Experiments in the Kitchen

I normally prefer to cook in my own kitchen (I know where everything is, which tools I'll need, how hot my oven runs, etc.), but I have an exception: I love cooking at Matt's, because his roommate Molly has WAY BETTER KITCHEN STUFF than me!  I suffer from a serious case of knife envy, and she's got every gadget & contraption you could dream up.  So yesterday, I set out to make butternut squash soup & kale salad.

As much as I love butternut squash, I had never attempted this kind of soup before!  I looked up several recipes and sorta blended them together with my own little touches, and at the risk of sounding all kinds of arrogant, it was so good!

2 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
a few cloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium potato, cubed small
1 tsp thyme
salt & pepper
1/3 stick butter
veggie bouillon (I used two Knorr cubes, plus some of Molly's homemade stock!)
1 large butternet squash (halved, seeded, & roasted)

~preheat oven to 400.  Roast the halved & seeded butternut squash face down in a baking dish (I sprayed Pam on the dish below the squash so it wouldn't stick).  Remove when soft & brownish.
~heat butter in your soup pot (I used Molly's Le Creuset Dutch Oven), and saute chopped onion, celery, garlic, and potato.
~peel and cube roasted butternut squash; add to pot.
~after all the veggies cook for a while, add enough veggie stock to cover them.  I used Molly's homemade stock, and then added 2 Knorr cubes for extra flavor.
~cook until everything is well blended together, add salt, pepper, and ~1 teaspoon thyme.
~blend soup with a hand blender (I love these magical wands!), or if you don't have one, put soup into a blender and mix mix mix.

Seriously, it was DELISH.  And the perfect compliment was Rutherford Grill's kale salad that I attempted to emulate:

I can't tell you exactly what I did on this one, cause it was one big experiment.  But here's my best shot:

raw green kale, finely chopped (kinda like longish strips)
raw cabbage, finely chopped
green onion, chopped
diced (teeny!) jalapeno
chopped peanuts

peanut oil
rice vinegar
brown sugar
peanut butter
garlic (chopped)
chili flakes
chopped peanuts

With the dressing, I basically just kept adding & whisking until it tasted right.  It wasn't exactly like Rutherford Grill's, but it was pretty dang close!  I'm excited to make it again, although admittedly, it was EXTREMELY LABOR INTENSIVE with all that chopping!

My Saints won yesterday in a highly stressful overtime against the Falcons, so it was an especially good day. :)  What did y'all do this weekend?


Leesh said...

I tried to make kale chips and it didn't turn out so well but this kale salad sounds like something I could actually eat.

Ashley said...

YUM!!! I'm seriously going to try out this soup recipe! I might get brave and try the kale salad too. Kale kind of scares me... lol

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

Yeah I'm not much of a cook lol. I usually stick to the same boring stuff. I need to venture out more :)

Dee Stephens said...

I too cooked my butt off and watched football!

melifaif said...

Taking a que from your previous post....All I Can Think About is....your soup and Kale Salad!!! Yumster lady....
way to rock it. Er, cook it!!!!??!!!

drollgirl said...

i am all over that salad! all over it!!! i don't "do" squash, so i'll leave the soup to you! :)

Phoenix Peacock said...

This week I just maid a Thai inspired butternut soup.... DELIGHTFUL!

ashley said...

Stumbled upon your blog. New follower! :)
I just moved to SF! I love it so far and I just bought a ton of ingredients to make butternut squash soup and risotto!! Your recipe sounds delicious too!!

Ocean Dreams said...

Oh wow I've never had this soup before. Sure looks good though! Thanks for your recent comment girl!

bananas. said...

yum yum YUM!!!

when can i come over?

Marz said...

Even without an ounce of meat (haha I'm such a carnivore!) your soup and salad sounds AMAZING! :) I wish I knew how to cook so I could make a tasty dinner for my man :) And get excited about kitchen utensils :) You are adorable!! I completely thought about you and Jessie as I watched your game (alongside my Cowboys game! I was such a happy girl!! Did you see the score of our game?!?! WOOO HOO!! Those are the boys I've been missing all season long!) and stressed out for you when it went to OT! It's so funny because you two were the only reason I cared about the game :) lol so glad we could all be so happy with our team's victories yesterday! :)

Mrs. Julius said...

OMG...this looks sooo good! I so have to try it! thanks for sharing! YUM!

Gracie said...

This one looks delicious! I think soup is always a good winter warmer. And this one looks delightful!

Anonymous said...

my wintry kitchen experiment

hee hee

Impulsive Addict said...

I am drooling over here. I'm so hungry right now!!! All of that sounds amazing...especially the salad and dressing! YUM!

I was rooting for the Saints. What a great game! Stupid call won the game for them! =)

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Mmm i love butternut squash soup! I'm all about learning more vegetarian dishes and this is great inspiration!

Chic 'n Cheap Living

Micaela said...

i love when you share recipes! (especially cos they're vegetarian)

as you know, i worked this weekend but every free minute i had was re-watching "felicity." :) it's been my guilty pleasure for sure!!!

i also worked on pairing everyone in my ornament exchange... i'm pretty excited about your partner lol

love you!

Kad and Peaches said...

Oh, this soup does look so good...and using ONE pot-that's my kind of cooking! I still have kale left over from my Bean & Kale I could try the salad too! Thanks :)

Faiza said...

sounds like a perfect weekend! i did NOTHING but read and watch movies in a blanket all weekend. came home on friday after book club and didn't leave my house again until monday morning. bliss!

Michel said...

I found your blog when I was looking to see if there was a recipe on line for Rutherford Grill's kale salad. We ate there today and like you fell in love with this delicious salad. We also ordered one to go with dressing on the side to see if we could deconstruct it as well. Based upon what they told me today, I think you have the ingredients for the salad about perfect. They did say they use Napa cabbage and its a serano chili rather than a jalapeno. Also, they said there is Parmigiano cheese in the salad and I can see/taste it in the salad I brought home. In the dressing on the side, the dressing is light and smooth and no evidence of any chili flakes or chopped peanuts in the dressing.