Elise’s Simply Recipes is one of my go-to blogs when I am seeking out recipes that I know will come out well. Everything I’ve made from her site has come out as promised. A couple of nights ago, I wanted a simple, satisfying dinner of butternut squash soup and beer bread. Elise supplied a great butternut squash soup recipe that has a sour apple thrown in–and I promise you, the apple makes the soup. Of course, I had to tweak the recipe based on what I had on hand and our personal preferences. Here’s my version of her recipe:
Butternut Squash, Apple, & Sage Soup
1 organic yellow onion, chopped
2 organic carrots, peeled and chopped
1 organic parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 T organic ghee (clarified butter–casein-free)
1 T olive oil
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, chopped into 1″ pieces
1 tart green apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 tsp. salt
4 c. vegetable broth
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3 fresh sage leaves, sliced, plus 1 stem of fresh sage (stem removed before serving)
4 tsp. goat yogurt (or other sour form of cream)
Heat ghee and oil in a large saucepan on med-high heat. When it is hot, add onion, carrots, and parsnip. Sautee for five minutes, stirring regularly. Add squash, apple, salt, broth, and seasonings. Bring to boil, then turn to simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes or until squash and apple are soft. Puree. (I used an immersion blender.) Add extra spices to taste. Serve with 1 tsp. goat yogurt on top of each bowl.
It’s a really heavenly mix of rich sweet, somewhat savory, and sour flavors.
Did you notice I also mentioned that I wanted beer bread for dinner? That’s because Brendon at Something In Season has outdone himself by offering a gluten-free, casein-free recipe for quick bread that is made with gluten-free beer, and I had been drooling over the photos for several days. Anyone who has tried beer bread and then learned she can’t eat gluten or casein has to be disappointed to miss out on the sweet, nutty flavors and chewy, satisfying texture of beer bread. Brendon’s version eliminates the gluten and casein but leaves in the egg. I have an extreme egg allergy but decided to make the bread anyway; I just created a substitute for the the two eggs by mixing together 1 T Ener-G vegan egg replacer, 3 T sparkling water, 1 tsp. olive oil, and a pinch of xanthan gum. I also threw in a bit of molasses–about 1 tsp.–to up the sweetness of the bread slightly. Whether from the egg replacer or an unsteady and/or inaccurate oven, I did find that I needed to bake the bread 7 or 8 minutes longer than Brendon suggests.
The result? The consistency was very close to glutenous, eggy beer bread–chewy, nutty, and a bit moist. The flavor was not, of course, exactly like regular beer bread, but it was close–a bit yeasty, a bit sweet. Unfortunately, I could taste the xanthan gum while the bread was warm, and the taste/smell of xanthan gum reminds me of high-school chemistry lab formaldehyde. When the bread had cooled completely, though, and I ate another slice, I found that the xanthan gum flavor had disappeared. Overall, this bread is fantastic–far better than any of the pre-made bread or mixes I have tried in the gluten-free, casein-free, egg-free world. I’m so thrilled Brendon shared the recipe, and I know I’ll be using it repeatedly in the future.