While it would have made sense for me to have blogged about our Thanksgiving dinner, I didn't. I was having way too much fun cooking to remember to take pictures, and I realized that many of our family favorite dishes don't really translate well in a visual way. Plus, frozen vegetables plus a can of cream of mushroom soup hardly strikes me as blog-worthy. (Tasty, yes, blog-worthy, no.)
But what about the Monday after Thanksgiving? The leftovers are just about gone, but there hasn't been a new mission to the grocery store. What then? Especially when it's awfully cold outside?
My family has a love for a soup that we call Pumpkin Soup. I say we call it that because it doesn't have any pumpkin in it. I've never made it with pumpkin. (Too much work, all that scooping.) I suppose it's more accurate to call it Winter Squash Soup. But somehow that name doesn't have the same ring to it.
But with some vegetables dying a slow and ugly death in the crisper, it was time to use them or lose them.
Get a big pot. Peel and coarsley chop 3-4 carrots. Coarsley chop half a "head" of celery (including the leaves). Peel and slice 3-4 potatoes (last night I used sweet potatoes and may make that a permanent change). Dump those in the pot and cover with water (or chicken broth...I used water because of the vegetarians). Simmer. Add thyme to taste (add more than you think you need...it's the defining flavor), and salt and pepper.
Leftover alert: this is a great time to use leftover mashed potatoes or cooked carrots!
Simultaneously, cut a winter squash in half, scoop out the seeds, place in a casserole dish along with 1/2" of water, and put it in a 350 degree oven. Bake while the other vegetables are simmering.
After an hour, remove the squash from the oven and scoop out the flesh (carefully - it's hot), and add the flesh to the vegetables and stock. Simmer until the carrots and potatoes are soft enough to mash with a fork.
Transfer contents of pot to the blender (it takes my blender two batches, so you'll need another pot or a big measuring cup or a bowl for half the mixture) and carefully blend until smooth. Carefully. Because you might get a big mess. Use the lowest speed and hold that lid like your life depends on it.
Return to the original pot, taste, adjust seasonings, and serve.
Delicious with a salad and muffins. Or at least that's what my kids tell me.