THE BLOG
12/10/2014 09:01 am ET Updated Feb 09, 2015

Soup-o-rama Mama

Winter, a time to pull on our flannel PJs and snuggle. One thing this frosty cowgirl likes come snow time is a big bowl of hot soup ... and a True Blood marathon. What is it about vampires that make them so damn sexy?

Anyway, biscuits, here are a few recipes to sink your fangs into. Sometimes when I cater winter weddings, I pass the smooth soups in shot glasses and the chunky soups in espresso cups. Soup can make a downright exciting hors d'oeuvre! Who knew?

It's Like Butta ... (Nut Squash Soup) good for 2 to 4 people.

Butta recipe number one

Buy one large butternut squash. Peel the squash, cut it in half and scoop out the inside. Chop into bite-size chunks. Peel and dice one white onion.

In a deep, heavy-bottom pot, sauté your onion in butter and then add the squash. Cover with about 4 coffee cups vegetable stock and cook over medium heat till soft, about 30 minutes. Strain the veggies and puree, adding back in the stock as you go, then season with salt, ground white pepper and cinnamon or nutmeg.

Butta recipe number two

I love this version, too. Skip the whole onion sauté thing, and just throw the squash in a deep pot with enough water to cover, toss in two cinnamon sticks and boil till the squash is soft. Take out those cinnamon sticks, then puree in batches, using the cooking liquid, and season with salt, ground white pepper, brown sugar and a heaping plop of sweet butter. Sometimes I add nutmeg, too. Sometimes I add a pinch of curry - also nice. You can keep the soup thick or thin it out with more broth. If you want to keep it vegan, skip the butter and add a coffee cup of apple cider. That's yummy, too.

Sometimes I garnish this soup with crème fraiche and chives; that sure is pretty. I've also garnished it with a drizzle of balsamic reduction glaze. But it's fine as is, too.


Crazy for Carrot Soup
In a deep, heavy-bottom pot, sauté one chopped onion in olive oil or butter. Sometimes I add a plop of minced garlic for extra zing. Add two heaping coffee cups full of peeled and diced carrots and three coffee cups of vegetable stock and a plop of fresh peeled and minced ginger. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until carrots are very soft. Let cool a little bit so it's not nuclear hot, then puree in batches, adding a couple of drizzles of fresh lemon juice. Season to your liking with salt, fresh ground pepper, ground cumin, ground cardamom and ground coriander.

You can also add cream to this soup but it's pretty darn good as is. I like to throw in a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper when I'm in the mood to kick it up. Sriracha also throws a little gas into the fire! Some folks skip all the above seasoning and just toss in a heaping pinch of good curry powder with salt and pepper. That's fine, too, dears.