Monday, October 22, 2012

Chicken, Kale, Sweet Potatoes in a Silky Butternut Squash Soup


Sunday was an exciting time in the Cul de Sac...  The weather was an Indian Summer Fall day... almost 75 degrees, with bright sunshine.  The perfect day for that Rites of Fall in the suburbs, the last mow of the year! Rough estimate, at least half of the yards were mowed yesterday.  A few Fall and Halloween decorations went up, but mostly it was about getting the yard the right length for winter.  And the thrill of knowing the mower was going to the back of the garage for at least 4-5 months!  To be replaced by snow blowers and shovels, but for now... The yard work is done!

And sure enough, on schedule about 2 PM, the weather changed.  In place of sunny 75, the wind picked up, the clouds moved in and the temperature fell by 20 degrees in an hour.

The perfect time to have a crock pot of soup waiting for the Cul de Sac warriors!

Today's soup wasn't waiting for Indian Summer, this beauty was made with a base of creamy silky butternut squash (thickened with a roux and pureed).  The meat of the soup was cubes of fried Sweet Potatoes for texture (and health), some Kale for color. texture and even more health and some of my beloved store bought, fully cooked, fully seasoned Rotisserie Chicken... Cause weekend warriors need a little meat in their soup once they've conquered the yard demons!


I LOVED this soup, silky and creamy sweet Butternut squash (pureed) makes such a delicious, full of flavor base.  With all the extra root, Fall vegetables added, it was hearty and thick enough to "stick to your ribs".  And the colors made it worthy of a presentation dish!

Happy Fall and Happy Last Mow of the Year Day from my Cul de Sac to yours!!!

Here's what I did...


Chicken, Kale, Sweet Potatoes in a Silky Butternut Squash Soup


Ingredients
  • 3 TBS Butter
  • 3 TBS Flour
  • 1 Medium Onion, Diced
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 Cups Butternut Squash, peeled and diced
  • 2 TBS Fresh (or dried) Herbs (I Used Rosemary,)
  • 1 Medium Sweet Potato, peeled and cubed about 1/2 to 3/4 inch size
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Batch Kale, cut into bite size pieces, rib removed
  • 1 Cup Meat taken from a Breast quarter of a Fully Cooked, Fully Seasoned Rotisserie Chicken, diced
  • More Fresh Herbs
  • To Taste, Salt and Pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. First, Make a Roux... In a heated saute pan, melt 3 TBS Butter. Add the flour to the hot butter and stir constantly for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the diced onion to the roux and continue to stir and sweat the onions until the start to turn translucent... About 5 minutes
  3. Move the roux/onions to a crock pot, set to high heat and add the Chicken Stock and Butternut Squash and 2 TBS of whatever fresh Herbs you have on hand. I have a nice big Rosemary plant, if your herbs did not survive Fall weather change, add whatever dried herbs you have on hand.
  4. Cover and allow to simmer for 3 hours, until the squash has softened and cooked through.
  5. 15 minutes before you plan to serve, take a stick blender to the crock pot and completely blend the soup. If you do not have a stick blender, use a regular blender or a food processor, but make sure the soup is completely blended smooth. The soup should be slightly thick now. If it is still runny, add 1/4 cup Heavy Cream and heat and stir until the soup begins to thicken.
  6. While you are doing that, heat another 2 TBS of Oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Saute the sweet potatoes, allowing one side to crust up (for a crunchy texture. Cove the pan so the potatoes cook through.
  7. Add the raw Kale to the soup. As it heats, the Kale will soften but still retain it's unique flavor.
  8. Add the cooked crunchy sweet potato cubes to the soup, add the diced chicken
  9. Season with more fresh herbs (or dried), taste and add salt and pepper as needed.  Allow to cook for 5 minutes in the crock pot (covered) to heat evenly
  10. Serve HOT and ENJOY!!!

This soup was TERRIFIC with the last of my copy cat Red Lobster Garlic Cheddar Biscuits.

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So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Recipes for Soup, Chili or Chowder" (Now more than 52 and still growing)

Soup from Scratch is one of the great kitchen joys.  The house smells amazing and the soup warms to the bone.  From broth to chowder, vegetarian to loaded up chili... Even a great idea for a party (love the Potato Soup Bar idea).  Come take a look, sure to have something you might like to try.  All recipes have been tested and WORK!
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So, I am pleased to add this as one of my growing list of "52 Uses For a Rotisserie Chicken"  (Now close to 100!)

MUCH more than a chicken sandwich.  From Scratch Pizza to Chinese Take Out recipes, Lots of Soups and Chili... Appetizers to Main Courses (Still can't find a dessert, but I am looking).  More than enough ideas for that store bought bird to shine with just a little extra work.  All recipes have been tested and WORK!

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