I have a very dear friend that I have known for almost 20 years. We worked together for about half of that time, so we had the luxury of seeing other daily and eating lunch together. However, in the spring I decided to change careers, which has been great, but I don’t get to see my friend as frequently.
With two busy schedules, it can be difficult to find an evening to sit and chat. Last week, luckily, we found a couple evening hours free of meetings, parenting responsibilities, etc. As my new career is home-based, I offered to make a soup and bring it to her house. I figured if dinner were ready, we could focus on conversation for two hours. Plus, eating at a house meant no interruptions from waitstaff.
I wanted to bring a soup that was unique, but as I do have to accomplish work at home, I needed a soup that would be quick to prepare. Having eaten many meals with my friend, I knew that she liked vegetables, which made this soup an obvious choice.
Arriving at her house with a pot full of warm soup and leftover Cheddar Cheese Biscuit Crackers, we immediately sat at her counter and began sharing stories. Unfortunately, the time flew, and before we knew it, life’s commitments dictated that our evening together was done. However, we did have a wonderful time, enjoying good food and each other’s company. It was a terrific, albeit short, evening.
- 1-1/2 Tb. canola oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 Tb. soy sauce
- 1 tomato, diced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 butternut squash, cooked*
- 1 Tb. maple syrup
- salt and pepper
- 2 bunches broccoli florets
- 1/4 cup whole milk, warmed
- Heat the oil in a medium stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender.
- Add soy sauce and tomato, and cook until all juice has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and add broth, squash, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
- Mix well, and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally.
- While soup is simmering, cook broccoli to crisp-tender, either by steaming or boiling.
- Using a whisk or immersion blender (depending on how chunky or not you like your soup), blend soup.
- When soup has reached the desired consistency, add broccoli.
- Add milk, and stir well. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes without boiling.
- Preheat oven to 350. Cut squash in half lengthwise, and place each half cut side down in a 13×9 baking pan.
- Add 1/2 inch water, and cover tightly with foil. Allow to bake for 1 hour or until very tender when pierced with a fork.
- Let squash cool, then remove and discard seeds and peel.
- Squash can be mashed in a bowl or added to the soup as is.
I am the dear friend Michele speaks of and of course the feelings are mutual. This soup is amazing and I am actually making tonight.