As I started to share this recipe I realized I’ve exclusively shared semi-offbeat vegetable soup recipes this week. Then I realized we’ve exclusively eaten meals with spoons this week. And I realized I’ve put us on the world’s least effective, most delicious liquid diet.
You should not go on a liquid diet, but you should make this soup because it was so delicious and can be made in about 11 minutes between brutal nonstop Zoom post-holiday catch-ups.
Does anyone else find the first week of December a bit exhausting always? You get back to work after Thanksgiving’s long weekend feeling energized by family time and brisk outdoor activities and you have a dozen re-group and strategy sessions for end of year goals, but the whole time you recognize at least half of what you’re working on simply won’t get done because everyone will stop caring on December 14? No? Just me and my bad attitude? I’ll check in on December 15 and see how all those priorities are shaping up for you.
But in the midst of some marathon Zooms yesterday, I whipped up a squash soup that I used to make more often when Matt still worked in consulting and traveled a lot. When he was on the road, I made more “single girl” type foods, since he wasn’t around to roll his eyes at cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash or the occasional Fritos-and-red-wine dinner. This soup features vegetables, but is oh so creamy and rich it doesn’t feel virtuous at all. It never felt like a lonely dinner, and yesterday it was the perfect lunch for us both.
So in the spirit of this week’s wholly accidental — and not actually waistline impacting — liquid diet, I present to you: Creamy Squash and Fennel Soup.
It will come as no surprise to you that I rely on my trusty blender to make this soup really zing. The curmudgeonly man on my shoulder, Mr. Imposter, is telling me that I can’t really cook, I just throw stuff in a blender and say it tastes good. Ignore him, ignore the vaguely Mid-Century Modern orange of this soup, and give it a shot.
- 2 cups roasted squash, chopped or sliced or however you ate it a few nights before
- ½ – 1 cup roasted fennel, leaks, or onions (I used fennel because we had some ohsogood fennel and squash roast leftover from Thanksgiving)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ¼ – ½ cup heavy cream
If you need to roast your veggies, do so at about 350 degrees until tender. Of course you should roast way more than the amounts listed above, because squash + aromatics on a sheet pan will give you a bunch of delicious meal bases: Roast vegetable and arugula salad with goat cheese and apple cider vinegar dressing; roast vegetables and rice or barley in a bowl with leafy greens and a tahini dressing; roast vegetables and a Costco rotisserie chicken; and on and on.
Once your vegetables are tender, place all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until hot. The cream will start bubbling up and thickening a bit, if you have time to let it. I encourage you to let that happen, but this will still taste good if you need to rush and skip the bubbling cream step.
Pour all of your hot ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth.
Serve piping hot with a sprinkle of rosemary and croutons.
Or do like we did, and break your liquid diet by serving a grilled cheese alongside. Have I ever mentioned I’m a pretty terrible dieter, intentional or accidental?
Recovering journalist who discovered a life outside of news leaves you time for things like getting angry, cooking and traveling. Plus, hopefully, writing. I’m a wife, dog mom and Washingtonian.