Roasted Squash Soup with Chipotle & Chorizo

It is squash season and soup is the best way to enjoy those cool fall nights.

Chipotle Chorizo Squash Soup
1 butternut squash

1 red onion

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 chorizo sausage

2 tsp chipotle chile in adobo sauce

cilantro, roughly chopped

green onion, sliced


Quarter a whole squash lengthwise, quarter the onion, & drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast at 375 until fork tender.

While the squash and onion are roasting, remove chorizo from casing, and crumble into soup pot.  Fry until sausage is crispy, and allow to drain on a paper towel. Drain any residual grease from pot, but do not clean.

In same soup pot heat up chicken or vegetable stock.  When squash and onions are fork tender take them out of the oven and remove skins and put the pulp into the pot.  Simmer until quite tender.

Using an immersion blender puree until smooth.  (Alternatively you could use a blender and blend in small batches, but always remember to leave room for the steam to escape out the lid or it will explode and you and your kitchen will be covered in hot, steamy soup …. NOT a good thing).  

Return to simmer, and taste – adjust for seasonings with salt, pepper and if you like it spicy, add a bit more chipotle.

Garnish with cilantro, green onion and crispy chorizo.

Serve as a starter course or a whole meal with fresh hot baking powder biscuits.

Use your imagination – all soup recipes are just a starting point.  Tonight’s version of this soup included some leftovers …. in this case I had some leftover stewed yellow heirloom tomatoes with squash (yum yum), and a little bit of chipotle chicken leftover, so they went into the pot before using the immersion blender.  

Avocado Salad Dressing

Ever slice open an avocado to use in a salad and think …. yuck … half of this is disgusting????  That happened to me this week when I really had a craving to add creamy avocado to my salad.  After fuming for a moment I decided to turn it into a dressing.  I know I always say to taste taste taste – but it is really important to do that with this dressing – you really want it to pack a punch of flavour into a mouthful.  By the time you dilute it with all your salad ingredients you still need to get all that avocado party going on.

Avocado Salad Dressing

In a mortar and pestle combine:

avocado (1/2?)

grainy dijon mustard (1 tsp)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp lime juice

Grind well until it is all creamy and bright – slowly drizzle in about 1/3 cup good quality olive oil and continue until it is all smooth.  (Yes, sure – you could do this in a blender, or a bullet, or just in a bowl)

Taste and adjust for seasonings.  If you like it a bit spicy, add a few chili flakes.  If you like garlic, add a garlic clove before you really start grinding it with the mortar and pestle.  You get the idea – add stuff you really like.  And – yes, that is a glass of wine in this photo – everything I make tastes better when I cook with wine! 

Roasted Butternut Squash & Onions

Roasted Butternut Squash with Onions

Peel butternut squash and cut into 1″ cubes

Slice sweet onion thickly (or try red onion!)

Turn squash onto baking sheet (I like a clay sheet) drizzle lightly with olive oil, dust with salt and pepper.

Roast at 425 until just fork tender – 30-45 minutes.

Remove from roasting pan, drizzle a very little bit of extra good quality olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Chicken in Caper Cream Sauce

Chicken in Caper Cream Sauce


4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts – lightly pounded to uniform thickness

1 tsp lemon pepper

(or finely grated lemon zest and 1 tsp freshly ground pepper)

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

3 tbsp. butter

lemon juice

olive oil

1 cup whipping cream

4 tbsp capers – drained and rinsed           

garnish:  parsley/lemon slice

Lightly rub chicken breasts with lemon juice and a wee bit of olive oil.  Combine all the spices and sprinkle over the chicken, allow to rest for a bit.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Increase heat to medium high and add chicken breasts – turning often until they are browned – about 5 minutes.  Turn heat down to medium again and cook for a further 7 minutes, until chicken is just barely cooked through.  Remove chicken to a warm serving platter and keep warm.

Increase skillet heat to high, add whipping cream and whisk continuously until sauce has reduced enough to be thick and glossy.  Remove from heat and add capers.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  (add any juices that have run out of the chicken)

Spoon over the chicken breasts, garnish with parsley, lemon slice and serve over a bed of herbed noodles.

Variation:  Use dill weed instead of paprika!

Horseradish Beets

This beet dish is great as a side dish for so many different meals – one of our favorites!

Beets with Horseradish mustard & lemon

Pretty simple:

cooked beets (I prefer roasted but steamed or boiled work well too)

equal portions horseradish and dijon mustard

squeeze of lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

garnish with thinly sliced green onions and parsley

I don’t usually peel the beets unless the skins are really tough – just give them a good wash and either roast or boil.

Once cooked, combine all ingredients – this can be quite spicy if you use a lot of horseradish and dijon – try it out and see how much you like it!