I belong to a wonderful group of food bloggers on Facebook called Foodify, and I am one of the proud admins. Occasionally, we feature an event, challenging our members with a recipe contest. The most recent event is called: The Fall Soup Challenge. The recipe must include a seasonal veggie, and/or legumes, and must not exceed 6 ingredients, excluding salt & pepper. I picked butternut squash, because the color reflects the wonderful hues associated with the fall season, and l love the rich flavors. I wanted to add onions, but I would have had to use oil, and that would have put me over the limit. Here is a recipe that I created in my kitchen, and I am happy to share it with all of you. As the members post their recipes on our Facebook Event Page, I will be sharing their blog links on here. Please check back, as I will be updating from time to time, to include every participant.
1/4 cup heavy cream, optional
1) Place the butternut squash and water in a medium-sized pot. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, cook for 5 minutes or until tender.
2) With a large slotted spoon, pick the butternut squash (leaving the water in the pot) and put in a food processor. Pulse it until it’s pureed.
3) (if you were sautéing onions, this would be the time to do it, in a small frying pan) Place the butternut squash purée back in the pot, add 1 sage leaf, nutmeg, salt & pepper and simmer for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4) Slowly add the cream, stir, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Garnish with sage leaves, and nutmeg. Serve in a soup bowl.
This was a lovely side to a Turkey, Brie and Green Apple Sandwich that I also prepared that evening.
* You can substitute the water with a low sodium chicken or vegetable broth for added richness.
I belong to a wonderful group on Facebook called Foodify- Culinary Delights From Around The World. We are a vibrant group of bloggers that share similar passions, food and wine. This is the second recipe challenge that I’m participating in, since joining the group. This time, we had to come up with 5 ingredients of our own, and pick one secret ingredient from a Food Network list provided by a group of acclaimed chefs. To be fair, it was done alphabetically, and Angela from Constant Wining was the first one to pick an ingredient. Of course, I had a feeling she was going to pick anchovies, just like I had in mind. Guess what? That’s exactly what happened, and that threw my idea out the door. Now, I had to think quickly, so I picked lemon, as my ingredient. It is so versatile, and can be used in savory and sweet dishes. At that point, I didn’t have too much time to think of a creative dish, because I was so focused on the anchovies. I decided to make a Lebanese Lentil Soup with Lemon. It’s quick, delicious and hearty. As I am writing this blogpost, I’m thinking, this soup is a perfect meal for my family and friends that are currently experiencing the snow blizzard in the NorthEast. Lentil is considered a legume, packed with nutrients, and very healthy for you. It is widely used in many cultures, particularly in the Middle East. Italians make their own versions on New Year’s Eve which symbolizes good luck.
Servings: 4-6 Difficulty: Easy
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 head of garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup dry lentil
Salt & pepper to taste
5 oz fresh spinach
5 fresh mint leaves chopped
5 cups of water
2 lemons, juiced (about 1/4 cup)
1) Rinse the lentil well, and set aside. Over medium-high flame, heat olive oil in a medium pot, saute’ the onions for about 4-5 minutes, add the garlic, lower the heat and saute’ for 2 minutes.
2) Stir in the lentil, then add the water, mint, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer UNCOVERED for about 25 minutes on low heat. Stir occasionally. Drop the spinach in and simmer a couple of minutes. By now, the soup should have a nice consistency, if it’s too thick, add a little more water, if it’s too thin, then cook longer to evaporate some of the liquid. Remove it off the stove, stir in the lemon.
I recommend making this soup a day ahead of time, as it is tastier the next day. This is a perfect meal for my family and friends that are currently experiencing the snow blizzard in the NorthEast.
Here is a list of my fellow foodie bloggers that have participated in the challenge. Please be sure to check back, as I will be updating this blogpost for newly published recipes.
So in 2016 I turned 50. I was in Italy for my 21st, 30th and 40th. To keep this birthday tradition going I always knew I'd be in Italy for my 50! This blog starts with my 5 week adventure in Puglia but my love affair with Italy continues.....