Butternut Squash Soup

This is one of the best soups I have ever tasted and is great in the fall (or any season really).

What you'll need:

1 butternut squash (medium to large, about 3 1/2 lbs.)
3 Tbsp butter
2 large leeks (0r 3/4 onion)
4 tsp peeled minced ginger
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
11/2 tsp salt

1. Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds and bake squash on lightly oiled cookie sheet (or non-oiled silpat) at 400 degrees Fahrenheit cut-side down until easy to pierce. About 1 hour.
2. Let it cool. Scrape out insides from skin and set aside.
3. In a soup pot over medium low heat melt butter.
4. Add leeks and minced ginger.
5. After leeches are tender add 4 cups of stock and squash.
6. Bring to a simmer
7. Let simmer for about 20 minutes and break up squash with a spoon.
8. Puree this mix.
9. Put the pureed mix back into original pot and bring to a simmer.
10. Add last 2 cups of stock and salt.

you may serve with toasted squash seeds

p.s. please do not try to make this soup with "leeches" as previously directed... the post-er does not know how to spell...


White Bean & Roasted Garlic Soup

this unassuming soup is savory and full of flavor.

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 15 oz cans cannellini or white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup canned diced tomatoes
2 oz smoked ham or bacon, chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried, ground
salt and fresh ground black pepper

1. combine the olive oil and garlic in a medium sauce pan and sauté over medium-low heat until golden brown.
2. empty two cans of drained, rinsed beans plus garlic and oil into a blender or food processor and pureé until smooth (depending on how good your blender is, you may need to add a half cup of the chicken broth to make things thinner).
3. warm and slightly brown the ham in the sauce pan while pureéing the bean mixture.
4. return pureé to sauce pan. add 2 cups of the broth (unless you've already added a half cup - then it would be 1 1/2 cups broth), remaining can of beans, tomatoes, and rosemary. add 1/2 cup water if soup is too thick. stir pureé and broth until completely incorporated. bring mixture to a low boil, turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes. remove rosemary springs (if used), season with salt and pepper.
5. serve in bowls with a final drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and good toasted bread.


Chocolate Chip Cookies

i know there's already a chocolate chip cookie recipe on this blog but i've tweaked this one to near perfection and the more the merrier, eh? plus, this one is made with more brown than white sugar, and a little more than half whole wheat flour, which pushes it in the Great Harvest direction.

1 cup butter, softened but still cool
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla
11/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 (+1/4) cup white flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2/3 bag chocolate chips
chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Beat butter until light and fluffy - this is key.
2. Add sugars, blend well (2-3 minutes). Add eggs and vanilla, blend until creamy.
3. Combine wheat flour and 1 cup white flour, soda and salt in another bowl. Add a little more than half to the creamy mix and combine. Add the rest of the flour mix and combine. Add remaining 1/4 cup white flour if needed.
4. Add chocolate chips, combine. Form rough balls, place on cookie sheet and bake at 350° for 11-14 minutes until golden brown.

The dough refrigerates and freezes great when formed into a cylinder, wrapped in some wax paper and sealed in a ziploc bag.



1 lb thinly sliced beef (either raw or deli roast)
1/2 lb sliced cheese (provolone and/or mozzarella)
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
4 hoagie rolls
olive oil
salt and pepper
hot pickled peppers (optional)

1. in a skillet, sauté the onion in oil over medium-high heat until tender. add mushrooms - season with salt and pepper - and continue to sauté until browned. set aside in a bowl.
2. slightly toast hoagie rolls in a toaster oven or on the skillet.
3. cook and/or brown beef in the skillet. add a few slices of cheese to the meat and mix in. separate as much of the beef you would like for one of the sandwiches and place a slice of cheese on top. let it melt. do this for however many cheesesteaks you want to make (they're just as good the next day - so leftovers are great).
4. when the cheese on top is melted lift the meat and cheese onto the toasted roll. top with mushrooms and onions (and peppers). enjoy!