Here’s something funny. My new digs are in the woods. We have an amazing view of what is essentially the forest. It’s not like “West Virginia untouched by human hands forest.” But it’s trees, a ravine, birds, coyotes, raccoons, and squirrels forest. Lots and lots of squirrels.
My mom came to visit us in our new home in October. She had never been here before and didn’t know much about where we lived except she was familiar with the area. She had never seen our house, didn’t know our address. She brought my birthday gifts with her as I would be celebrating my birthday a month after her visit.
My birthday came and I finally got to open the presents she brought. She got me some fantastic gifts, one of which was a cookbook. Know what it’s called? The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson. She’s a food blogger and artist. I didn’t think much of it, to be honest, but I did flip through some pages and noticed how beautifully laid out it was and how amazing the colors and dishes were on each page.
Stick with me, I’m getting to my point.
My husband and I went out this weekend with a bunch of friends to celebrate my birthday, and I got a little lazy. Last week I had two kids with very high fevers so cooking wasn’t really a high priority, especially not creating a new dish. I turned to my awesome new cookbook to scope out a recipe or two that I’d like to try this week. As I was perusing, I was amazed at how beautiful and serene Erin’s home looks. What got me most is how it’s essentially surrounded by a forest. Each photo of her homestead made me wish for something similar more and more.
And then it just hit me. I live where she lives. I don’t live in the same city — or even the same state — but I live in a beautiful, serene, forest-like setting. And I love it. I can focus, I’m more relaxed than I have been in probably a decade, and it’s just a soothing place to work, live, and play with my kids. It’s like the book was meant for me. What’s truly amazing is that my mom bought it for me as a gift, without ever having seen where we live. Just mind blowing how things work out like that sometimes.
After admiring each and every page of The Forest Feast, I decided what I’m going to make first will be butternut pear soup. It looks easy, the ingredients look tasty, and — sadly — cooler weather is heading my way so it will be perfect for when the temperature dips.
Want to make it with me? Check it out:
Butternut Pear Soup
from The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson
- 1 butternut squash, peeled
- 4 pears, cored
- 1 large onion
- 4 C vegetable broth
- 1/2 C Greek yogurt
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Cube the squash, pears and onion. Toss with a little olive oil and fine-grain sea salt and roast in a 9×13 glass baking dish for 30-35 minutes, or until fork tender.
Place the squash mixture in a food processor, Vitamix, or large bowl. Combine the broth, yogurt, curry powder, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add the broth and yogurt mixture to the squash. Puree in the food processor or Vitamix, or in small batches using an immersion blender.
Pour pureed soup into a large saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with popcorn (great idea!), serve, and enjoy!
As you can see from the photo, her instructions are fairly simple. I added a lot to the directions above because that’s the way I plan on doing things. Sometimes simple is great. And sometimes when making a new recipe, simple leaves a lot of room for error.
I truly can’t wait to make this recipe. It just looks amazing.
Have a fabulous day, my friends!
What did you do over the weekend?
Are you in the path of a mild El Nino winter, or in the severe outbreak area?