Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Autumn bliss: home-made soup and book talk…


During the cooler months of Fall one of my favorite soups to make is with Roasted Butternut Squash. There’s so many wonderful recipes out there but this is one of my favorites because I like this soup with a dash of sweetness. Since this version uses fresh ginger, I like to drizzle brown sugar over my bowl before serving.

Are you in the mood for a pot of home-made soup? Here’s how I made mine:


two butternut squash

one leek, chopped

1 1/2 onions chopped

shredded ginger

one apple, peeled and finely chopped

4 cans of chicken broth; 14.5 ounce  cans

1 1/2 cups cream

4 tablespoons of good olive oil



  • Preheat to 400°F. Place squash on rimmed baking sheets and drizzle with brown sugar.  Roast until tender and slightly brown in spots.


  • Add olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, sliced leeks, onions, chopped apple and fresh shredded ginger, two tablespoons of brown sugar and sauté until it looks translucent and begins to soften, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes. Add roasted squash, then broth. Increase heat and bring to boil; reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 15-20 minutes. Cool slightly.


  • Working in batches, puree soup in processor until smooth. Return to pot.


  • Whisk 1 1/2 cup cream into soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper but taste first. I didn’t add any to this batch and liked it better. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover soup and chill. Rewarm soup over medium-low heat, adding broth or cream to thin, if needed.





I think roses always look so pretty inside pumpkins, don’t you think?

And of course, you need a good book to sit and read while you eat your soup. One should always have their nose in a book while eating home-made soup, it adds to the flavor.

So tell me, what are you reading these days? I just pinned this on to my Books etc.. Pinterest board:


click HERE to find out if you’ve read these books yet.


click HERE to vote in the Good Reads Choice Awards for the Best Books of 2013

These are the categories:


Orphan Train A Tale for the Time Being A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

Mystery & Thriller

Unseen (Will Trent, #7) Ordinary Grace Touch & Go

Historical Fiction

Whistling Past the Graveyard TransAtlantic Burial Rites


The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3) The Golem and the Jinni The River of No Return

Paranormal Fantasy

The Bone Season Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson #5) Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7)

Science Fiction

Lexicon Terms of Enlistment Earth Afire (The First Formic War, #2)


Fallen Too Far (Too Far, #1; Rosemary Beach, #1) Wait for You (Wait for You, #1) Losing Hope (Hopeless, #2)


Help for the Haunted The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black NOS4A2

Memoir & Autobiography

Wave Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir Sum It Up: 1,098 Victories, a Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective

History & Biography

Jim Henson: The Biography The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson


The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Food & Cookbooks

Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table, with Recipes


Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened Bad Monkey

Graphic Novels & Comics

American Vampire, Vol. 5 Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir Captain Marvel, Vol. 1: In Pursuit of Flight


Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish Bough Down Incarnadine: Poems

Debut Goodreads Author

Letters from Skye The Ghost Bride Altered (Altered, #1)

Young Adult Fiction

Fangirl Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2) This Is What Happy Looks Like

Young Adult Fantasy

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3) Opal (Lux, #3) Prodigy (Legend, #2)

Middle Grade & Children's

The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4) Doll Bones Chasing the Prophecy (Beyonders, #3)

Picture Books

The Dark Exclamation Mark A Little Book of Sloth



Right now in the midst of all this whirlwind packing and painting I’m returning back to my books more than ever. Reading like crazy because books are my soothing escape, always have been.


Tell me,

what books do you have next to your bed right now?








Sunflowers With Smiles said...

Yum, love butternut squash soup. Your recipe sounds wonderful. My brother owns a restaurant and makes it with apple chutney served on top. Now I miss it, when I visit back to PA, I will have to order me a bowl. Have a wonderful week, Leslie.

Linda said...

Yummy! That's one of my favourite soups. Today would be a good day to have it since it's cold and raining here.

Andi's English Attic said...

Daughter had her nose in The Fault in Our Stars from beginning to end. It's rare she sticks with a book like that, so I'm guessing it's good.

Reading Kate Adie's autobio at the moment. Interesting and sometimes breathtaking reading. xx

Dayle ~ A Collection of Days said...

I'm glad to see you're still afloat, with all the packing and such. The soup looks yummy. I've never made butternut squash soup.

As for books, you're singing my song. I just ordered three new ones online and, since you asked, sitting on my book table beside my bed are the latest Chicken Soup title (Just Us Girls), in which I have yet another story (this makes my 13th appearance ... woot woot), and a book of essays by Robert James Waller.

Jennifer said...

I love butternut squash soup. Your recipe seems like a keeper. Right now I'm reading "Simplify Your Life", 100 ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter. Great time of year to do that, I think.

michele said...

i made soup today too! not as pretty as yours though. next to my bed...oh lordy...

i'm almost done with: a long obedience in the same direction (peterson)

the bible

anais nin: a biography

magical thinking (augusten burroughs)

no man is an island (thomas merton)

pretty eclectic, yes? and no fiction cuz i'm boring like that.



Blondie's Journal said...

Oh...your soup look awesome. I really need to try butternut soup, it seems to be all the rage and I've yet to try it.

Thanks for the list of books, I am on Goodreads and I love getting recommendations since I'm not near a book store. I have a small stack of books on my nightstand...not as many as I used to have since I have a Nook and they are stored in that. But I do pick up books at Target, I'll never lose my love of a good old book!

I hope all of your moving plans are going well. You must be terribly busy! Take care!


karen@somewhatquirky said...

This looks like a great recipe. I love butternut squash soup. In regards to the books to read before they come out on screen. You may have read Ender's Game since you have boys or if you are a sci-fi person. I am definitely not a sci-fi person but Ender's Game is a GREAT book. It's one of the few books that I've stayed up all night to read. I don't know if I will watch the movie, but I'm motivated to read the book again!

Art and Sand said...

I am reading The Song of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford who wrote one of our (Steve and me) favorites - On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

This is our soup making time of year. I, who never cook, want to make chili tomorrow. If that goes well, I might try your soup recipe.

Lori said...

Oh how I love that last picture and quote. I have not yet read Gone Girl but everyone has raved about it so it is on my list. I started a James Patterson yesterday and picked up 3 books while I was in the US last weekend ~ I do love to read!

Donna@anangloinquébec said...

What do I have next to my bed right now? A mess. I have magazines, books, jewellery, tea pot.... Love that last image and wish that was what I had next to my bed right now! :)
That soup recipe looks fabulous and I have always loved squash soup. Definitely will be trying this. And finally, thanks for the book list Leslie. I just joined a book club with some friends and we are searching for titles. :)

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

I could eat soup every single day - true comfort food! And butternut squash is one of my favorites, so why have I never actually made it at home? I'm excited to go through the book recommendations. And I love reading a book, then seeing the movie. Of course the books are always better. But the one exception to that is Cold Mountain. That story really came to life on the big screen and the cinematography was amazing! Our book club is always on the lookout for something good. We've been together for 12b years now and it's about so much more than books! I just picked up The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. And my very favorite time to read is on a cold snowy night curled up in my favorite leather chair - it just doesn't get much better than that!

Unknown said...

Hello Leslie (aka Gwen ;)
That soup looks absolutely divine! The way you have roasted your squash makes me think that's a nice option to some of the chopping I've done on raw squash. Looks like a must try. As for reading? I've been so busy trying to get my online Stylemindchic Boutique updated for the Christmas season that I've had not a moment to read (except a bit of vogue mag today). Soon I hope!
Great list and happy weekend my friend!
xx, Heather

chillcat said...

The soup looks divine! I made pumpkin soup the other day and it was wonderful.
I read recently that reading literary fiction encourages empathy - a truly luminous thought. I've just finished reading The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch and Love Begins in Winter, short stories by Simon Booy. Both were magical. I've also been rereading my own collection for readings I have to do - and this is rather unsettling! Xcat

Debe said...

In the middle of The Goldfinch right now & can't wait to get home from work to get back into it! Gone Girl...didn't like. Didn't like the characters or the story, especially the ending. Don't understand the buzz....That soup looks divine.....

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I love butternut squash soup! In fact I made squash last night and saved the leftovers to make soup!

Monica said...

My MIL makes an amazing butternut squash soup. I've been intimidated to give it a go myself. Thank you for the clear instructions and photos!!! I've been rereading The Call Of Service by Robert Coles - I love my books and was spending way to be time behind my computer. I'm trying to make more of an effort to fit in things that I enjoy like reading. xx

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