My daughter works in mid-town Manhattan, and as she passed by Rockefeller Center the other day she saw that the annual Christmas tree has been delivered! She took the photo above with her cell phone. ( for a clearer view click on to enlarge)
The scaffold is still all around it, so it can be decorated with lights, and the official tree lighting ceremony will take place on December! It's always exciting to visit this part of Manhattan during the Christmas season as everything is so beautifully transformed by holiday splendor.
When I made the ossco buco and butternut squash risotto earlier in the week, I showed how I roasted two medium butternut squashes in the oven at the same time. They were brushed with melted butter and placed in the oven at 350 F, for about 40 minutes, cooked until they were soft when pierced with a fork.
I cubed one half of the squash and stirred into the risotto, the other three halves I scraped off the flesh from the outer skin, placed the flesh in a bowl, and saved it in the refrigerator. Roasting the butternut squash gives it a nice caramelized condenses its flavor. A few days later I used this mashed squash to make soup!
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
1 medium onion minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 boiled potato, peeled and chopped
4 cups roasted butternut squash
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons garam marsala spice * ( or mild curry spice)
1/2 cup cream
* Garam marsala is an Indian spice consisting of a blend of spices such as black pepper, cardamon seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, crumbled bay leaves, nutmeg ,coriander, and fennel seeds. It can be found in gourmet stores and most large supermarkets. A mild Curry powder can be substituted for it.
A good web site that shows blends of common spice mixtures used in ethnic cooking is "Ethnic Spice Blends."
In a large heavy saucepan saute the minced onion in the butter until the onion is soft and translucent.Next, add the roasted squash and the slice boiled potato. I add the potato because it acts as a thickener. Mix well.
Pour in the broth and stir well and let all come to a low boil, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar and garam marsala spice and mix well.
Blend well using an immersion blender. My $10 drug store model is still going strong! If you do not have an immersion blender you can puree the squash and potato in a food processor or blender before adding them to the pot.
After blending turn off heat and slowly stir the cream into the soup until well blended, and serve.
I sprinkle a little extra cinnamon on top of each serving. This is an excellent soup to warm you up on a cold day!
If you look at the ingredients listed on a can of commercially prepared soups you will see that many have over 1,000 mg of salt per serving! That is almost half the entire amount of salt that is recommended as the total to be consumed by an adult in a day. Many of the dry package soups have even more salt added to them. If you have a family history of high blood pressure or kidney disease it is important to think about how much salt you are using to cook, and what is in the prepared foods that you use. Add it all up and you might be surprised!