Miso Butternut Squash Soup

Soup & Salad | February 3, 2016 | By

This is one of my favorite fall/winter/spring soups! It’s just so easy to prepare and is loaded with all good things (vitamins A, E & C, fiber, magnesium, and potassium). Butternut squash tastes sweet when cooked and this soup is no exception. I highly recommend buying the squash already peeled and cubed so you don’t end up losing a finger trying to slice it open! You can top this soup with your favorite herbs and toasted pumpkin seeds. It’s hearty, filling, and healthy!

Miso Butternut Squash Soup
 
Author:
Serving Size: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons yellow miso paste
  • Handful of chopped fresh herbs (like thyme)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs for topping (thyme or cilantro)
  • 2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds for toasting
  • Drizzle of crème fraîche for topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add in the squash and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, yellow miso, and herbs. Bring to a boil and cook until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat and puree using either an immersion blender or standard blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Add toppings when ready to serve.
  3. To make the toasted pumpkin seeds: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Add raw pumpkin seeds to a sheet pan in a single layer, do not overlap. Spray pumpkin seeds with canola cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook in oven for 20 to 25 minutes, making sure to check them and toss the seeds periodically so they don't burn!
Notes
When pumpkin seeds start making a popping sound in the oven they are starting to toast. Watch carefully at this point and toss periodically.

Chocolate Supreme Cupcakes

Sweets | January 31, 2016 | By

My food blog would not be complete without cupcakes. I had a small cupcake business when I lived in Sweden. The Swedes do love their afternoon “fika,” cake breaks! Here’s one that was most popular among the Swedes, but I’m sure you will also find it über-sinful! It’s layers of chocolate, so what could possibly be wrong with that? It’s the right amount of sweet after dinner, or maybe this is dinner?

Chocolate Supreme Cupcakes
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
Make the cupcakes
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the frosting
  • 12 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 4 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 lb. 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • Chunks of dark chocolate
Instructions
For the cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tray with paper liners.
  2. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Heat milk over medium high heat but don’t boil. Pour milk over unsweetened cocoa powder in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly. Whisk in sugar, canola oil, egg and vanilla until smooth. Slowly whisk in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fill each liner with batter ¾ way full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool five minutes and transfer to baking rack to cool completely.
For the frosting
  1. Beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy and fully combined, about 3 minutes. In a medium bowl, sift together sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Gradually beat into cream cheese mixture. With machine running, pour in melted chocolate in a slow, steady stream. Beat in sour cream until well combined. Sprinkle with chunks of dark chocolate. (Beat well if refrigerating frosting before using.)