Two weeks ago at church, a member asked me if I liked to cook. Simple question, simple answer: “YES! I LOVE to!” The joy that filled my heart at the mere thought of the word “cook” reflected instantly in my eyes. When his follow-up question involved home grown acorn squash, I accepted the offer with willingness and grace.
With a fresh acorn squash in the palm of my hands a week later, it became official. SOUP SEASON IS HERE. AND SO IS FALL. <3
I love all things fall. Pumpkins. Apple orchards. Golden delicious apple picking. Races in perfect running weather. Spices. Falling leaves. Festivals. Baking. Autumn colors. The sights, sounds and smells of October are a yearly anticipation for me. In essence, this picture:
Combine all of the above with fresh produce and my Kitchen Aid 5-Speed Immersion Hand Blender, and you have a happy Chef Krystina Lynne. (Not pictured, but running through the fall foliage in the background).
With a fresh squash looking all autumnal on my counter, finding the perfect recipe was a must. Simply seasoned, with a unique fall flavor profile. Found it. Finally inspired.
I used A Sweet Pea Chef’s Roasted Acorn Squash Soup recipe and made a few minor changes based on what I had in stock; you’ll find my modified version below. Admittedly, I had to buy two additional acorn squash from the A&P, which I felt guilty for doing since they weren’t garden fresh. But the recipe called for it—and delivered on a fall flavored soup sensation. What a soup-er start to the season!
Roasted Acorn Squash Soup. Picture courtesy of A Sweet Pea Chef.
Listen up readers, foodies, friends and followers. This girl is about to change your world—and your ways. Unless you’re a family member or close friend reading this—in which case, you are already a proud owner and hopefully avid follower of this recipe—I need your full attention!
Let me say that again.
Perhaps THE most important staple in every Italian kitchen. Though arguably, this valuable condiment (can I call it a condiment?) should span cross-culturally in culinary importance. It’s a kitchen asset that can transform any dish that calls for it—from your standard spaghetti, to homemade square pizza (recipe to come for the latter).
So here’s what this post boils down to: MAKE YOUR OWN SAUCE AND USE IT.
Don’t tell me Ragu or Prego, or whatever those cheap, jarred brands are called, is “easier.” Don’t tell me it’s worth it because you’re buying an organic or 100% all-natural variation. It takes 30 minutes to cook sauce. I will not accept “time” or the “convenience” of overly processed, heavily salted, pre-packaged jars of muck, ridden with a laundry list of additives as your excuse. Instead of wasting your time and effort paying for what any real Italian would deem “garbage,” you should be taking advantage of that time by putting a pot of sauce on the stove. And there’s my #ROTD (rant of the day). #itllcatchon
All Italians make sauce differently, and claim theirs is “the best.” Being that I am 75% Italian, I will justify making that claim, knowing mine is backed by a simple fact—that our family’s recipe really is…THE BEST.
Some people add tons of oregano, basil, garlic, and every other Italian seasoning but the kitchen sink. Our family does not.
The incredible taste of our sauce, stems from simplicity and pureness of the ingredients used.
Call it a southern Sicilian strategy, if you’d like. But in the words of my very own adorable, 4-foot-something Italian grandmother, “I tell you the truth.” It’s a strategy that works. Timeless, tasty, tried-and-true, I pass this recipe on to you!
*If you cannot find the Kitchen Ready variety, buy Italian Whole Peeled Tomatoes and puree them in a blender; they will be more watery, so you will not need to add any extra water to the sauce.
My mom is an extreme couponer…minus the extreme couponing. Fortunately, our wholesale club like inventory of certain products (namely sauce, paper towels, napkins, and expired soda we buy for family gatherings but never drink) does not span to the bedrooms and closets in the house.
This explains why we have a substantial stock of Pastene ‘Kitchen Ready’ Tomatoes always available in the garage. They’re so hard to find around here that online bulk buys are the only solution to maintaing our two 12-pack minimum at all times.