A has an incredibly generous uncle with a beach house in Chatham, MA. Every year he offers us a vacation spent in the comfort of his home and every Fall we more than willingly take him up on his offer. The house has three bedrooms, a kitchen that is spacious compared to ours, and it is a mere ten minute walk from the beach.
This past weekend was our 3rd Annual Cape Cod trip. Thanks to Uncle Eddie we spent our weekend digging our toes into the sand, heading into the town to taste home-made fudge, kicking back and watching two movies, and of course, spending some time cooking together.
This year, to celebrate the coming of fall and because A was a little under the weather, our first thought was to make a fall soup. Z was craving potatoes (can we make one little exception?), A was thinking Butternut Squash, and “Fabio’s Creamless Creamy Squash Soup” from Epicurious seemed to offer the perfect solution. We made some changes, dropped the “Fabio” and put our rendition below.
We are also on a Brussels Sprouts kick and decided that a Brussels Sprouts pasta dish would go well with the soup. We added in some garlic bread for good measure — mostly because we love it and partly because we felt it tied both dishes together a little more. We enjoyed it, and hope you might too.
Butternut Squash Soup
Based on Fabio’s Creamless Creamy Squash Soup
2 celery ribs
1 large carrot
1 large onion
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 lb butternut squash
1 lb potatoes
3/4 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
2 tsp coarse sea salt
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cloves garlic chopped
Start by prepping the veggies. Chop the celery, carrot, and onion.
Cook them in the a large heavy-bottomed sauce pan over low heat for about 20 minutes. They should get tender, but not brown. Meanwhile peel and chop butternut squash and potatoes into about 1/2 – 1 inch cubes.
Add the squash, potatoes, crushed red pepper and sea salt to the veggie mix and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Stir in the 4 cups of boiling vegetable broth. Add the garlic. Simmer, covered until the vegetables are tender and blend-able, about 45 minutes.
When the veggies are all tender get out your immersion blender and blend away. Serve hot. We made Pecorino Romano Crackers to accompany it and while they were delicious, they were unnecessary. The soup spoke for itself.
Fettuccine A La Brussels Sprouts
1 1/2 lb Brussels Sprouts
1/2 cup pine nuts
4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped garlic (heaping)
1 lb fettuccine
1 cup pasta water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
If you have a food processor then this recipe is stupidly easy. If you don’t then you will do what we did this weekend. So, if you have a food processor, fit it with the slicing disk and start feeding your brussels sprouts through it. If not, chop them relatively finely.
Start boiling a pot of water. Make sure to salt and oil it because you’ll use this pasta water later. Let the pasta cook until it is a little shy of al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the pine nuts for about two minutes or until they are golden. Add the shaved brussels sprouts, the salt, the pepper and the garlic. Saute for about 12 minutes. Add the pasta, the cup of pasta water, and the 1 cup of Parmesan. Incorporate and serve topped with more Parm.
We are writing this post now, from the comforts of our own home. The nearest beach isn’t nearly as quiet and our phones are back on. We were sad to leave Chatham, but as you can see from the serving recommendations we had enough to bring back leftovers. We plan to finish them up tonight — and savor the tastes of butternut squash soup and fettucini a la brussels sprouts one more time as they bring back memories of our vacation a la Uncle Eddie.