My friend Sara made this soup when she hosted our Cooking Light Supperclub meeting a few weeks ago, and it was incredibly delicious. It's so perfect for this time of year and relatively easy and quick. My contribution was a Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Pepitas, and we also enjoyed Stephanie's Beer Bread and Wendi's Upside-Down Apple Cake - which was made with healthy ingredients like whole grain flour (and which I will post if they send me the recipes!)
I have also made a couple of other good and easy autumn meals lately. One was based on an idea from The Grub Report - which was recently featured on Sam's blog, Becks and Posh. The idea - almost not even a recipe - is to roast the pre-cut squares of butternut squash from Trader Joes with some olive oil, curry powder, salt and pepper in the oven until they are falling apart, and serve with Trader Joe's Gorgonzola and Walnut Ravioli. I used a little warm water to make it more of a sauce (stock would also be good) and sprinkled gorgonzola, walnuts, and some reggiano parmesan on the top. With a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc, it was very nearly heaven.
The other meal was a simple pizza, made with Trader Joe's Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. I rolled it out thin and brushed it all over with olive oil and a heaping tablespoon of creme fraiche that I happened to have on hand. I then sprinkled it with an Italian cheese blend, some gorgonzola and mozzarella, sliced mushrooms, some bacon (Niman Ranch) and thinly sliced red onion. I've discovered after making a few pizzas that I have a tendency to put too few ingredients on, and not bring them out to the edge. I'm getting the hang of it though - this one was really good. Since tomatoes have gone out of season I've been putting apples and pears in salads - they're so good with these rich, fall flavors.
Here is the soup recipe:
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
4 Tbsp butter
1 cup onions, chopped
1 leek, cut in small pieces
2 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups potato, peeled and diced
3 cups vegetable stock
2 cups milk
dash of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp curry powder
1 cup half and half
Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the onion and leek and cook about five minutes. Add the squash, carrots, potatoes and vegetable stock and cook, partially covered, for thirty minutes. Puree in batches in a food processor, add the spices and milk. Heat to boiling and simmer for twenty minutes. Just before serving, add the half and half and salt and pepper to taste.