We are fortunate at Cooking by the Book to have the blenders supplied by Vitamix. We actually do not call them blenders. To everyone, staff and guests, they are simply the Vitamixes. We use them, but privately many of us worship them.
These are amazing machines whose power and versatility outdo anything else you might have tried.
Combine that power with time and you get: heat. Squash soup is the perfect vehicle to display the culinary power of the Vitamix.
Keep the machine running on high for just a few minutes, and that liquid in the bowl becomes steaming hot. The instructions below, from Vitamix, show just how quick it can be, how easy to do. What can’t be shown, what has to be tasted, is the classic flavor of this soup.
It has always surprised Suzen and me how just a little apple can change the entire flavor profile of squash soup. It adds, people say, sweetness. But it’s more than that. There is sharp coolness that the apple punctuates in every spoonful.
The proportions here are for you to play with at will. More apple or spice? Sure, you can’t go wrong. Every time you make this soup it will be recognizable. And every time it will be distinctive and surprising.
Oh, the recipe title may say “holiday” but don’t be confused. It’s not for a holiday. It makes any day a holiday.
Vitamix Holiday Squash Soup
Yield: 5 cups
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, homemade ideally
- ½ buttercup or butternut squash, cook, peeled, or 2 cups of cooked squash or pumpkin
- ¼ small onion, peeled
- ¼ medium apple, seeded
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon dried sage
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup heavy cream
Place all the ingredients except the heavy cream into the Vitamix container in the order listed. Secure the lid
Select Variable 1. Turn the machine on and quickly increase the speed to variable 10, then to High.
Blend 6-7 minutes or until heavy steam escapes from the vented lid.
Reduce the speed to Variable 4 and remove the lid plug. Add the heavy cream through the lit plug opening. Blend for an additional 20 seconds.
Source: Whole Food Recipes by Vitamix
Photo Information [top picture]: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/3.2 for 1/100th second at ISO-800
They are not just for Thanksgiving or Christmas any more. Cranberries bring a bright, tart flavor to whatever you choose to adorn, mix, or bake with.
This recipe is from The Great American Cookbook, the wonderful state-by-state array of recipes compiled 50 years ago by Clementine Paddleford. Mention “cranberries” and surely “Maine” pops into mind. This recipe is a classic combination of cranberries and orange, frosted with notes of cinnamon and clove.
What is a compote? It’s another French creation, a mixture of fruit and sugar syrup, that first appeared in 17th century. What to do with it? Eat it. In a bowl. By itself. Or, you can have ice cream or yogurt in the bowl. Or, you can top off angel food cake or pound cake. Or, you can serve it as a side to roast poultry. This compote paired with dark, moist turkey meat is an experience that should not deny yourself.
Spiced Cranberry Orange Compote
Yield: serves several depending on
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 whole cloves
- 2 2-inch cinnamon sticks
- 3 large seedless oranges, peeled, white pith complete removed, and sliced ½ inch thick
- 4 cups cranberries, fresh is best, defrosted will suffice
Combine the water, sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick in a large saucepan. Place over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, and boil for 5minutes. Add the orange slices, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 3 minutes.
Add the cranberries and continue to simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, until the liquid becomes syrupy and the cranberry skins pop open. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Serve topped with whipped cream, or use as a topping for cake or ice cream.
Source: The Great American Cookbook by Clementine Paddleford
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/5 for 1/60th second at ISO-1250