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Friday, October 21, 2016

fall at the farmhouse and my roasted butternut squash soup



Welcome to fall in New Hampshire!  
We were a bit worried with the extremely hot and dry summer we had that the foliage might be less than, but it has turned out to be a spectacular fall- the colors do not disappoint.  I took these photos for you a couple of days ago late afternoon, so you will see the light changing throughout the photos.




You can see we still have some green on the sugar maples that line the gravel drive.  Our neighbors sugar maples always turn several weeks before ours and it is a magnificent show from our front porch.  The girls were helping me take photos, so you will see a lot of them playing!  This is 12-year-old Ella playing "get your gizzard" with 2-year-old Magnolia, and Ella can catch her!












The drive from the house down to the road.




The freshly painted house, sans shutters, with windows open!  The perfect fall day.




 The cushions on the front porch are feather/down filled and I change out the covers several times throughout the year.  Because the porch is covered and we do not suffer from extreme humidity on a regular basis they do great on the porch.




I see two tails photo-bombed this pic!




The front meadow.








We, along with an arborist, trimmed up all the sugar maples, that line the drive, this summer and we are loving the higher canopy over the drive.   We absolutely adore these trees and they are a very important component to our property, so not a single limb was cut without  our  my approval!  It's all about the health of the tree, of course, but also the aesthetic on what the view is looking out/looking in towards the house and the light/exposure that a cut will make.  I look at every single cut (and there were hundreds:) from many different angles and then will then go back to the front porch, since we sit there so often, to make sure the cut works from that important angle.  The perfect tree cutting job and the goal is always to say "What did we cut??" at the end since it still looks so natural and like nothing at all was really done! 












Love Ella chasing Magnolia in the background of this pic!




Louise is standing in front of the stairs off the back porch that we added this summer.








We love the new stairs- they just feel so right for the scale of the house and porch, and they are SO user friendly!  The dry-stacked stones still need to be worked and finished, but just so happy to have the stairs (they were my birthday present this year!!)




The sun starting to fade in the west.




The house as the sun was setting.




So happy and grateful to live here and call this farmhouse home.  The house lights are on, the candles in the front garden are lit, now let me get you a cocktail and we'll do our evening "walk about" around the property;  the girls, of course, will accompany and entertain us!




I love getting back in the kitchen with the arrival of fall, so I'll be sharing lots of my go-to recipes with you (I had a lot of requests to show you what was in my "go-to's" folder that you saw in my cooking file drawer from this post on my kitchen drawers HERE.)  I have been making this roasted butternut squash soup for a good twelve years or so.  I combined several recipes to make up this one and it is a fall/winter favorite.  Here I served the soup with an open face sandwich  made of multi-grain ciabatta bread, which I grilled with swiss cheese and sun dried tomatoes and topped with a spring mix of lettuces.  I've made this soup for many a fall lunches with guests, and it is always a hit!  The recipe is below.  
Also, if you missed my Italian Sausage Soup recipe you MUST try it HERE.  It is so good and so simple and perfect for fall.


ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

1 medium butternut squash
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 T. freshly grated ginger (I use a microplane) (or 1 t. dried, but fresh is preferred)
1 carton (4 cups) organic chicken broth
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1 T. kosher salt (my favorite is Diamond Krystal)
2 t. curry powder
pepper to taste
1- 3 T. honey (depending on the natural sweetness of the squash)
1 cup half and half

Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds ( I use a small ice cream scoop, but a large spoon with also work.)  Rub cut side, not the skin, lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (fyi- these ingredients are in addition to those listed in the above recipe.)  Roast squash cut side down on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for 50- 60 minutes or longer, depending on the size of your individual squash.  You want the skin to be very brown and dimpled.  Set aside and cool.  When completely cool, scoop the pulp out of the skin.

Cook the onion with the 2 T. of olive oil over medium-low heat until softened.  I make this in my LeCreuset dutch oven.  (I have several LeCreuset pieces so I always note which piece I use, black or green meaning large/smaller, on a given recipe- makes life easier when you go to make a recipe you might not have made in months!) 
 Add 1 T. salt, pepper , ginger, nutmeg and curry powder and cook an additional minute.  
Add chicken broth and squash pulp.  Cook over medium heat until hot (do not boil.)
Using a stick blender to puree.  If you don't have a stick blender you NEED one in your life!!! HERE
Add one tablespoon of honey.  Taste for sweetness and add 1-2 T. more.
Add half and half and puree again.  
Serve!



A photo from several years ago where I served this soup for lunch with good friends.  
Rest in peace sweet Marcie...

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happy Fall, your pictures are so beautiful. I could look at your pictures of your property and house over and over again. it's a good thing that I live so far away from you, otherwise I could not stop myself from knocking on your door. Best Regards, Wenda

Stephen Andrew said...

So beautiful! I think your house is the ultimate autumnal dream house. And the tree work looks fab. So hard to get that right. Thank you for the recipe! I saw an interesting recipe for butternut squash hasselbeck in Food and Wine that has piqued my interest.

Stephen Andrew said...

Hasselback*

Mary said...

Beautiful photos, my daughter in Jackson sent some great ones from her area too. Your red maples are spectacular. Love the new stairs on lower porch, I have similar ones on side of porch, large enough for people to sit on and once I fall asleep on them while catching some "rays".

Karen said...

I love cooking in the autumn and winter months, but then by March or April I'm ready for cooking for spring and summer. :-) I love the maple trees and the beauty they add to your already wonderful home and barn. It's picture perfect to me.
I also enjoy seeing the girls playing in the yard.
Enjoy the weekend.
xo,
Karen

Calypso In The Country said...

How incredibly beautiful! We were in Vermont a few weeks ago but the trees were not as colorful as they look in your photos. I guess a few weeks can make all the difference. The soup sounds delicious too!
Shelley

Pam Pafford said...

I love your blog and look forward to every post! I love your home, but even more, the life that you two have crafted for yourselves. Your trees are magnificent and way ahead of ours here in Georgia. I totally understand the trimming and careful pruning. My arborist was actually here today on a cherry picker working on my 100 year (or more) old oak trees. It always makes me happy when my trees are trimmed and we know they look better but you can't really say why.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful foliage! I love your house without the shutters.

Celia Becker @ After Orange County said...

Oh my goodness, your home proves why fall is beautiful enough to send throngs of people chasing the changing of the leaves. Where I live, at 5,000 feet elevation in Lake Arrowhead, California, we have lots of evergreen pine trees interspersed with Maples & Oaks so the change isn't so dramatic. Although fall on my mountain top is nice, it's nothing compared to the beauty of your area. Thanks so much for showing us. Happy fall!

Mary Anderson said...

Your pictures are gorgeous! Absolutely love them, especially those with your fur babies! Enjoy your beautiful Fall weather.

Barbara Novello said...

Thanks! Cannot wait to make your recipe and by the way your trees are stunning! I miss the my home in Virginia so much now that I live in LA. ENJOY autumn! It is 100 here )-;

marlene said...

Just stunning! Love all these autumn pictures you haven shared. So fun seeing your girls running around in there yard. Just breath taking!

Charisse WHG said...

Your lovely photos make me so homesick. I am sure folks here in the south get tired of me saying how special autumn is in New England. Thank you so very much for bringing me sweet memories.

Patti said...

I'm missing your shutters, esp this time of year! 😞

dogwoods said...

Can't wait to try the soup!...would love if you would tell us if the dogs you feature get adopted. I have 2 Labs and 3 cats which we transport back and forth from WI to FL...loved the Staffordshire Terrier (pitbull) Cargo but logistically at this point in time I don't know if I could get him...by the time we go through GA he will probably be gone and our car is always loaded which is not the best way to introduce a new pet...also his bio doesn't say whether or not he gets along with cats...that is always helpful to know...sure hope he gets a great home!....

Vickie H. said...

Such breathtaking majesty! Love all of your photographs....the dogs make the BEST assistants!!! You know (as we have learned) that a really good arborist makes all the difference. It took years for one of our trees to recover from a bad one. Thank you for sharing the wonders of New England in the fall....such a joy to behold!! And that soup sounds devine!

cm said...

Just Beautiful! Such a blessing to watch the seasons change!

pammbw said...

Gorgeous photos! We don't have a lot of color yet here in Maryland, and when it does come, it seems like it is gone in a flash, so I enjoyed seeing some New England color. Very happy the weather is finally turning. Will definitely try the soup, sounds delicious!

janice15 said...

O my your photos are just beautiful of fall trees and I love your farm house. The stairs looks great.. It al looks eeally good and comfy Happy weekend with love Janice

Lillian Plummer said...

Love your stunning pics of your property, magical and glorious. Your soup looks delicious, I vary mine a little with coconut milk and grated fresh coconut on top with a callow of cream.
Hope your fall continues to excell. With very best wishes from Hong Kong. Lillian xx

k durden said...

So beautiful! Love seeing how happy the girls are! Cannot wait to make the soup!
-Kelly
Fairhope, AL

Parnassus said...

Hello Joan, Fall must the the greatest reward of living in New England. And how subtly do all your projects with the house and yard blend to create this scene of idyllic perfection.
--Jim

Thirkellgirl said...

I am making butternut squash soup today. Mine starts with an apple-maple pork sausage that I can only find at my local market in autumn, and a pinch of red pepper flakes, and it cooks for a long time in the crockpot. We just had a temperature drop (from the 80s to the 40s) in the past couple days and I think soup and French bread will be perfect for dinner tonight. Can you tell me the diameter of your table? Your dining area has inspired me for years, and I have Ikea white-slipped chairs around mine now. I've been thinking about taking the leaf out of my table but I'm not sure it will be big enough for four people. (But round looks so pretty....)

Anonymous said...

Hi Joan. Lovely pics of all. We, too, were concerned about the colors this year because of the dry summer in Vermont, but it turned out glorious. Like you, I just love living here. Rainy and cold today, but it's ok, we need it. I do make butternut squash soup in the fall, but I will try your recipe. Your sausage soup was great; my husband loved it. Thanks for the recipe, and enjoy the season. Bev

Miranda Hust said...

Those trees are so pretty! Love seeing the girls run wild and play together.

Debi said...

Oh Joan, your photos are magical! I saw your blog post was up last night on Instagram and saved it for this morning so I would have time to savor it. The house, with its fresh coat of paint and no shutters, looks fantastic and I love the new stairs. Isn't it great when you make a change and it looks like it was always meant to be that way? The maples are really lovely, we've been so dry in NC, I'm afraid we aren't going to have very good color this year, so I'm doubly appreciative that you have shared yours. I'm doing a lot of cooking this weekend, so I'll add the butternut squash soup to my list. Happy Fall!

Ron said...

Gorgeous. I wish we had true Fall changes here in NOLA.

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

OK....That is IT. I have called the moving van. get your fridge ready! BIG hugs and kisses to the girls! And....your birthday present needs some pumpkins on lining its steps!

Unknown said...

Soooooooooo beautiful!

Sammy said...

God's perfection!! Of course you have great taste! : - )

for the love of a house said...

Your soup sounds delish! The table is 48". It very comfortably sits 4 and I have had casual dinners for six, but that's a tight squeeze. It's was actually kind of fun though, very casual.

for the love of a house said...

SAJ, I had to look up Hasselback I'm embarrassed to say;) The photo is gorgeous- I wouldn't want to cut into it!!! If you make the butternut squash hasselback, please let me know what you think, k!

for the love of a house said...

OH yikes Barbara :O Turn up that a.c. ;)

for the love of a house said...

It really does make a lot of difference Shelley. Just since I took these photos a couple of days ago our trees our gorgeous yellow/orange. It makes it hard to leave the property as the trees change before your eyes:)

for the love of a house said...

We had a cherry picker too Pam! It went as tall as it could for the trees on the road. Scary :O

for the love of a house said...

We are really loving it too, thank you!

Evaline said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful world and your soup recipe. Can you tell me please if you can freeze this soup? Thank you.

Thirkellgirl said...

Thanks, that's how big mine is!

Anonymous said...

Joan, Dan, and Girls! We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the country. Denise and I were driving to Pickety Place, Monday, and I was in awe of the brilliant tree colors, this year; I was concerned after the drought.
The porch stairs are perfect; they look like they have always been there.
Thank you for sharing the soup recipe; I will be making it, this fall.

Happy Fall, Cindy

My Little Bungalow said...

Hi, Joan! I love to see your fall photos. Amazing. They never cease to bring a smile to my face, like images of your dogs. They look so happy to have all that space to run around. They are such lucky dogs that you found them and adopted them. What a beautiful way for them to live out their lives!! Your butternut squash soup looks delicious. I have a butternut squash right now on my counter, and a great recipe in my file that I think I'll cook up today. The weather has finally gotten cool here, so perfect for soup.
Claudia

Lana said...

Beautiful! I noticed the trimmed trees right off. We had 19 trees trimmed in front of our house this summer and it looks like a different property. The arborist was an artist. I saw him standing up the street looking at the front of the house many times as the day progressed and we are thrilled with the results.

Your dogs are having a blast! We enjoyed visiting our granddogs this summer and I had a Clemson game watching buddy with a too big one on my lap because his Mommy and Daddy get rather roudy and it scares him. Nana to the rescue.

I really do like the farmhouse without the shutters. Good decision!

Gina said...

Gorgeous!! I must make t to a New England fall some time! Everyone must, right? ;) I always love seeing your dogs in your pictures. Your home is "doggie heaven." The soup looks yummy too. I love soup this time of year too. I've made a couple pots just this week with color weather here in Virginia. :)

Julie @ Creating This Life said...

Just stunning. I think New England would be lovely all year round, but fall has to be especially beautiful. Thank you for sharing the beauty.

Elizabeth said...

Such beautiful photos! Can't wait to try the soup. I am a big fan of the Italian sausage soup and have made it quite a few times now. Autumn leaves, home, dogs, and a delicious soup simmering on the stove...life doesn't get better than that!

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

Hello Joan! I'm new here, and I think we're soul sisters already :). We live in New England (western Mass). Two weeks ago I went with a friend to southern NH to see a pup she was considering and I found it to be a lovely area. It was just about 2.5 hours from where we are. I also went to Maine a few weeks ago (Acadia) and wow! Loved it! New England truly is a beautiful part of the country and we're so fortunate to live here.

Your home is absolutely swoon worthy! I can imagine all the love and care that went into fixing it up, and what a beautiful job you did to keep it looking authentic. I wish I had time to check out more of your posts now, but I'll be back!

xxx

Michele said...

Thanks Thirkellgirl for the idea of adding sausage to the butternut squash soup! My husband doesn't like the smooth texture, and said if he would enjoy it more with something added, the sausage & red pepper flakes , will fit the bill perfectly!

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

OMGoodness, your sugar maples are spectacular!!!!!!!!!!!! What a gorgeous color display. I would want to sit on the porch for hours! Speaking of porches, I have BIG porch envy! We had 3 decks at the old house, 1 covered and I sure miss them. You have a little slice of heaven there. I am happy for you and Dan. Have a beautiful weekend!!!

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

PS, FORGOT....thanks so much for your recipe, I LOVE butternut squash soup!!!

Gmama Jane said...

Well, Joan, I have followed you almost from the beginning I think. I began blogging in 2007 so for the first year it was trial and error finding my niche and blogs I enjoyed following. Yours became one of my top 5. I feel like I've been through the entire house remodel, the new patio with Dan & "Big Blue" working hard everyday. Fan is such a handyman that can do most anything including falling off ladders poor thing! THE loss of your precious dog and how we all grieved. I know I've forgotten some of the details, but needless to say each dog has brought her own unique joy back to your story. I've enjoyed your home and the life you and Dan have built there.
I have lived in Alabama for 37 yrs but my home and heart is in West Virginia which can rival any state for Autumn bragging rights! I get so homesick for a WV fall especially this year. SUMMER has been dreadfully HOT & DRY...and our trees are a nice shade of crunchy brown. My grandson was swimming yesterday with temps in the high 80's. Thank you for sharing your New England color display as well as your life. LIKE the blog title says...for the love of a house". I'LL keep following as long as you keep blogging!

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