Ginger Butternut Squash Soup

I have tried to make butternut squash soup before and utterly failed. So with winter coming fast, I wanted to give this soup one more go at it. This time I had success! The ginger and lemon really give the squash and sweet potatoes a lift and great fragrance.

Here goes!

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You’ll need:

One medium sized butternut squash
One clove of garlic
One large thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
2 cans of chicken broth (vegetarians and vegans can sub vegetable broth)
2 sweet potatoes
1 lemon
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh Parmigiano, parsley and black pepper to top if you want

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Cut the butternut squash in half. Takes a little elbow grease when it’s raw.

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Place the butternut squash and sliced sweet potatoes flesh side down on a baking sheet covered in foil and drizzled with olive oil. Slice the top off of a fresh clove of garlic and put it all in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30min.

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Meanwhile, peel and grate your fresh ginger. Set aside.

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Once the butternut squash and sweet potatoes are soft enough, scoop out the flesh from the skins and place into a food processor or blender. Discard the seeds and stringy part of the butternut squash.

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The garlic will look like this when it’s ready.

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Place some ginger and garlic into the blender with the sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Also, add chicken broth to help everything mix up evenly. It may take a few batches to get everything mixed up properly. Sprinkle a little kosher salt in each batch.

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Once blended, place into a large pot. Squeeze fresh lemon juice in and stir. I used the whole lemon, use to your taste. Let simmer for 10-15min. This will help the flavors blend and heat the soup back up. I added a half can of water at this step because the soup was pretty thick, this is optimal depending on how you like it.

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Serve hot. I topped my soup with Parmigiano, parsley and some black pepper. This will keep for up to a week in the fridge. Enjoy!

Mushroom Orzo with Parmigiano

Doesn’t this sound delicious? Well, it is. I just love mushrooms and the richness of orzo and fresh parmigiano make this a decadent but easy side dish.

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You’ll need:
Orzo (I used the entire pack because I was cooking for several people)
2 cans of chicken broth
1/2 lb of cermini mushrooms
Fresh grated parmigiano
Fresh parsley to garnish

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Wash mushrooms, be sure to get all the dirt off. Then slice and combine with 2 cans of chicken broth plus one can of water. Bring to a boil. Let that boil for a few minutes to soften the mushrooms.

Then add orzo and reduce to a simmer. Follow the directions on the orzo package but this should take 10 minutes or so. Stir frequently so the orzo doesnt stick to the bottom of the pot. Once all the broth has been absorbed, it’s ready to serve.

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Meanwhile, grate some fresh parmigiano.

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Place on a plate and sprinkle with parmigiano and top with a little parsley.