Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


Butternut Squash and Thyme Soup

I love butternut squash and this soup recipe was fabulous!

I altered a butternut squash recipe from Rachael Ray’s “Get Togethers: Rachael Ray’s 30-minute Meals.” This is the second side dish that I’ve altered into a soup. The first was a pumpkin dish.

I roasted the squash in the oven before I cut it into chunks and put it into a pot with the broth and spices. I like oven-baked squash more so than boiling it or nuking it in the microwave, but you do whatever method suits you. If you put it in the microwave, it’ll only take 10 to 12 minutes.

Here’s the recipe:

Butternut Squash and Thyme Soup

1 medium butternut squash
2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
pepper and salt to taste

1. Cut the squash in half and spoon at the seeds. Place face down in a baking dish with a little bit of water. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until squash is soft.

2. Cut and peel the squash and place it in a pot with 2 cups of broth (or enough to be level with the squash), thyme, pepper and salt.

3. Cook on medium heat until squash begins to fall apart, stirring occasionally. Mash the squash with the back of a spoon or puree it in a blender. (Note: remove thyme sprigs before putting squash in a blender.)

4. Spoon out the sprigs of thyme and serve with crackers!


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Chocolate bread pudding with butterscotch sauce

Although I didn’t give Chris any Valentine’s Day gifts, I did make him, what I thought was, a delicious meal.

The highlight, I think, was the dessert — chocolate bread pudding with butterscotch sauce.

I found the recipes earlier in the month when checking on one of my favorite blogs — Amy Karol’s angry chicken. You can find the post here.

Reading through the recipes and Karol’s post about her experience with the desserts, I knew then I’d found a way to my hubby’s heart! 🙂

The dessert wasn’t as chocolatey as I would have liked, but it’s still delicious, especially warmed. I used homemade wheat bread, not the cinnamon-raisin suggested in the recipe. And I sprinkled powdered sugar on top.

Since butterscotch is one of Chris’ favorite flavors, I doubled the recipe, making a little more than a pint of gooey sauce. It’s got a nice, rich flavor. I couldn’t find heavy cream at our local Super Dollar grocery store, so I used whipping cream instead, which worked out well.

I never did decide on a main course so I had Chris choose.

He liked the sound of Rachael Ray’s Rosemary Chicken Breasts and Brown Butter and Balsamic Ravioli from her “30 Minute Meals: Get Togethers.”

I used apple cider vinegar in place of balsamic vinegar in both recipes.

Both recipes are keepers. The vinegar gave the chicken an added layer of flavor and mixed well with the rosemary and garlic. (I used dried rosemary since I already had that on hand. I hope to start some rosemary from my parents’ garden later this year.)

I was most surprised about the ravioli. I didn’t know how vinegar would taste with the pasta but it had surprising flavor created by the vinegar, (dried) parsley and parmesan cheese that I added.

I’m certain these recipes will make a return appearance on our plates sometime down the road.