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my husband and i met our good friends and their 2.5 year old son today at our local farmer’s market for a bit of lunch, delicious tea, company, cupcakes, and a taste of autumn. we met at a cafe that specialized in delicious tea, and i tried a tea latte called london fog. feasting on turkey avocado and apple/basil/onion sandwiches, we took off to peruse the market. after perusing, we stopped at cupcake royale where i bought an autumn four-pack of salted caramel, caramel apple, pumpkin spice, and carrot cake cupcakes. the pumpkin spice was beyond words delicious. the apple caramel a close second with pieces of apple baked into the cake.

last week at sakuma brother’s farm, i procured an acorn squash which i intended to roast for soup. this afternoon i took a look in our fridge to see what needed to be used up. i found a bottle of wine that had been opened a week ago, half a carton of beef broth and a bit of chicken stock, as well as a half can of tomato paste. my husband popped down to the market to pick up a couple red peppers, and an onion, and i roasted the squash with sea salt, olive oil, garlic, red peppers, and onions. my husband cut me a few sprigs from his herb garden–thyme, chives, and oregano–which i layered on top of the seasoned veggies and popped into the oven. while the broth, wine, and tomato mixture cooked down into a thick reduction.

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we waited a while and i changed the sheets on the bed (i love the first night sleeping on clean sheets!) and the smell of roasting onions, vegetables, and garlic filled our little apartment home. as my husband had shoved the cork back into the wine, hard enough to require a corkscrew to remove it, the wine had kept pretty well so we both helped ourselves to a little glass while he read a novel and i looked through the latest issue of food&wine magazine.

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once the vegetables were totally roasted, they came out of the oven and i cooked them in the reduction for a bit, and then pulled them all out together into the blender to puree. once pureed, i sprinkled in more sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and a dash of cayenne. i cooked in a soft goat cheese, then decided we needed to eat something with the soup!

for autumn thick soups i love to make a “topping”–usually including nuts, crispy pancetta or bacon–or ham–with tart apples. not having any of these ingredients, i thought a dollop of sour creme and home made crotons would suffice. i found a half loaf of sliced whole wheat nut bread from a local bakery in our freezer. i pulled it out to defrost, then seasoned the bread with olive oil, sea salt, oregano and thyme. then toasted them in the oven under the broiler.

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the pieces of toast came out perfectly, and we decided to just dip them into the soup (almost in lieu of a spoon!). my husband gave it his approval, so i think it was a success!

sunday roasted acorn squash soup

1 acorn squash

2 red peppers

1 large onion

several cloves of garlic

fresh thyme, oregano, and chives–olive oil

soft goat cheese

chicken and or beef broth

red wine

tomato paste

bread

sea salt, pepper, cayenne pepper

reduce the broth, wine, and tomato paste together until thick

roast the garlic, onions, peppers, squash, and fresh herbs together (reserving some for seasoning the bread). drizzle olive oil on the vegetables, and sprinkle with a little sea salt. roast vegetables 400 degrees for a few moments, then roast at 300 degrees until tender. remove the vegetables from the oven, dice, and stir into reduction. simmer. then puree, and simmer with sea salt, pepper, and cayenne. crumble in goat cheese and melt.

season bread slices with olive oil, sea salt, and remaining fresh herbs. toast in oven until crisp, then broil for a few moments until crispy/crunchy.

dip bread into soup, enjoy with a glass of red wine!

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