Last week I came home from work and found that I had placed a container of half-and-half in the microwave. A few days later, I couldn’t find the aluminum foil that I typically store in my pots and pans cabinet only to locate it later on top of the baking stone in my oven (uncooked, thankfully).
Sometimes I can be forgetful. I lose my keys once a week, at minimum, although I often find them stuck between two couch cushions or better yet, hanging from the lock outside my door. These incidents don’t happen often, but when I’m busy or preoccupied it isn’t uncommon for me to get lost in thought and suddenly realize that I’m about to decorate my toothbrush with Neutrogena facial cleaner rather than toothpaste.
My occasional memory lapses make me appreciate simple recipes. At the end of a long day, I don’t want to have to Google an ingredient or look up the best way to cut a certain vegetale while I’m making dinner. Cooking is always a learning experience, but there are times when you just want dinner now without doing too much extra thinking.
This butternut squash bisque from Everyday Food takes less than forty-five minutes and you can shave even more time from the total if you use peeled, pre-cubed butternut squash.
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
I large butternut squash (about 4 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
sour cream or goat cheese, for serving
1. In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add onion, thyme, garlic, cinnamon and cayenne. Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Add squash, broth, half-and-half and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Working in batches, puree in a blender until smooth. Stir in lemon juice; season with salt. Serve bisque with sour cream or goat cheese and garnish with cayenne pepper, if desired.
NOTE: If you don’t have 12 mouths to feed you can freeze this soup easily. Ladle cooled bisque (without cheese or sour cream) into an airtight container leaving one inch of space at the top. Freeze for up to three months. When you’re ready to reheat, run container under hot water to release bisque. Heat with a bit of water, stirring occasionally.
Did you notice that I’ve been posting more frequently than usual this week? In celebration of National Novel Writing Month, some bloggers choose to commemorate November with NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month. I’ve challenged myself to post daily this month and hope that you’ll challenge yourselves to read them all!