Tuesday, August 23

A Taste of What's to Come!

    Headed out to Kyleigh's bus stop this morning, I noticed something before I had even closed the door behind me. It was cool. I don't mean 'awesome' or 'neat' or 'nifty'. I mean, the temperature was actually cool! I thought Abby was going to tell me she was cold when the breeze blew. It felt AMAZING!

    On the way back home, Abby and I decided it was perfect weather for opening some windows--that's just how awesome it feels. So we get back and the windows are open and I've got my cuppa joe and the news is on in the background. (Shocking, I know. Since when do I get to watch the news?!?! :) ) I'm thinking to myself, "man, I love that it smells like fall...I can smell cinnamon in the air" then I stopped.

Sniffed again.

I really did smell cinnamon hanging in the air. Wait a sec, it's quiet.

Where is my kid?

In the kitchen, with my dog, and the cinnamon bottle in her hand and my kitchen floor is now patchy brown.

I just started laughing--it really DID smell like fall this morning! :)  In the fall kinda mood, I decided Abby and I needed to take a trip to the Farmer's Market. Off we went!

I loved being at the Farmer's Market! The first of the apple crops were in! And at 89 cents/lb, we had to get some! (The grocery stores are still selling apples for $1.69/lb.) There isn't a whole lot of variety, but that is to be expected. I actually wasn't anticipating any apples to be there yet, so this was a super nice surprise.

Another reminder of fall being just around the corner was the abundance of squash at every stall. Spaghetti squash, acorn squash and butternut squash. And the bell peppers! Rainbows covered so many tables, it was beautiful!

Okay, so with all the choices at our fingertips, what did we finally decide on?
We picked up two kinds of sweet apples (Rustic Red and a Golden variety) at our favorite apple & peach vendor. Then we found some tomatoes--I've been wanting to make a tomato soup lately. At the same stall were heads of garlic for sale and since I'm out of fresh garlic, I picked up a couple. With all the colors to choose from, we on some white and purple bell peppers. Also in our bag went some pickling cukes, as well as a regular cucumber. We found a vendor selling sweet potatoes, so we had to get some of those. On our way out, we stopped and picked up an acorn and butternut squash.

With a heavy bag, it was time to head home.In the car driving in the direction of home, inspiration struck. Butternut squash soup for dinner! Made with coconut milk! Genius! That meant, however, that I needed to make a detour. I didn't want to go to my usual grocery store, but I didn't want to pay health-food-store prices. Trader Joe's to the rescue! I'd forgotten how awesome that place is. Abby and I found what we needed no sweat.

Now let's fast forward a bit. 

While Kyleigh did her homework at the table, I got started in the kitchen--I knew this would take a little while.

    First up was to peel and dice the butternut squash. Then into the steamer it went.
    When the squash was tender it was time to get it pureed, in batches, in my food processor. As each batch was pureed to a smooth consistency, it went into my soup pot. 
    Once all that was finished and in the pot, I turned up the heat to medium-high and stirred in a can of lite coconut milk and some water (which had been used for steaming the squash--meaning it had the vitamins and flavor from the squash).
    When the squash and milk came to a boil, I turned the heat down to medium/medium-low and whisked in my seasonings: ground cloves, ground nutmeg, himalayan pink salt, ground mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, ground white pepper, ground allspice. Covered it, and let it simmer away.

    Meanwhile, I sliced up the French baguette I picked up at Trader Joe's. Then I drizzled extra virgin olive oil over both sides each slice and sprinkled with the pink salt, dried basil, and dried oregano. I wrapped that up in some tin foil and slid it in the oven.
    Once Nate was home and it was time to sit down to eat, I ladled the soup into our bowls and topped each with a dollop of Greek yogurt (also picked up at Trader Joe's). Then sprinkled some parsley overtop. The bread came out of the oven and onto the table. Some grape tomatoes and sliced cucumbers went onto the table too as a way to balance out the richness I anticipated from the soup.

 We all sat down together, and it was time to eat! I stirred up my soup and Nate opened up the bread. 

    I think the soup turned out well, and Nate cleaned his bowl as well. Kyleigh enjoyed the bread, while Abby enjoyed it all together like Mom and Dad. The soup was warm and hearty and felt like comfort food in a bowl--one that I could feel good about going back for seconds. The flavors evoked feelings of cool, crisp days with pumpkins on your stoop. Definitely an enjoyable preview of the coming season. 

Coconut Butternut Squash Soup
Prep: 40 minutes   Cook: 15 minutes    Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 14-oz can lite coconut milk
  • 3/4 c. water, from steaming
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves 
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp parsley

  1. Peel and dice the butternut squash. Using a steamer, steam the squash until fork tender.
  2. Once the squash has been steamed and cooled slightly, puree in batches using a food processor. You could also use a blender, or for a slightly more chunky soup, a potato masher could be used. Remember to set aside 3/4 cup water used from steaming.
  3. Scoop the pureed squash into your soup pot and turn the heat up to medium-high. Whisk in the coconut milk and reserved water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Turn heat down to medium-low to simmer. Whisk in the spices and herbs. Cover and let simmer.
  5. Just before serving, place a dollop (a tablespoon or two) of Greek yogurt atop each bowl and sprinkle with parsley. Enjoy with toasted bread!


  1. The weather sounds wonderful there. It is still in the 100's and very sticky out. I love butternut squash and have some in the freezer pureed. The soup does look delicious-especially with the coconut milk in there. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Tina, I'm really hoping the hot weather doesn't make a comeback here. We are actually keeping an eye on a hurricane at the moment...
    Anyway, since it's still so hot where you are, I think this soup would also be good chilled if you wanted to give it a go. Thanks for reading!

  3. Oh fall flavors. I'm so ready. It got cool here in SoCal only to heat back up again. Will be looking for that apple, squash, and cinnamon weather.

  4. Thats fall in a bowl, great job with the soup. Thanks for the share.

  5. Looks awesome! I love that Abby got into the cinnamon...that is the kind of thing that happens around our house...I usually just laugh.

  6. I'm definitely looking forward to when it's cool everyday. Nothing like going pumpkin crazy. :)

    Carrie, Abby has got the longest arms! She keeps getting into everything. Sometimes all you can do is laugh. Besides, it made the house smell nice. :)


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