Vermont winter from a cooks kitchen

onions still life
onions lined up on a wooden board

The temps have dipped to places I have never seen in the 16 years I have lived in Vermont. Last night 10 below 0. When it gets this cold, the only place I want to hang, other than our hot tub, is in the kitchen. I have 2 new cookbooks for inspiration. Tartine All Day & the book I have been falling asleep with since Christmas, called Breaking Bread by Martin Philip. Martin is the head baker at King Arthur flour in Northfield, Vermont. His story of how he got to his present position is one of a passion for not only good bread, but good food that feeds the soul & spirit too.

Armed with both books, I spent my day baking. I made up a batch of grainy looking flax muffins with grated apples, in hopes that I would like this gluten free muffin.

gluten free muffins
gluten free flax muffins

I did.More than ever, I find every weekend guests who are either gluten free or lactose free. This year my challenge is to find recipes that excel in taste & texture for my inn guests.

Next  item was a maple oatmeal bread. It was an all day event with numerous proofings, but when those loaf pans emerged from the oven, brown & smelling of yeast & molasses, I knew my effort paid off. It was a great accompaniment to a bowl of butternut squash soup with cumin & coriander.

maple oat bread
maple oat bread

Soup was my next effort. A rich satisfying puree of butternut squash, creamy peanut butter , aromatic spices, & coconut milk. And the best part, it came together in less than an hour. If you have fresh cilantro, top it off with a sprinkle of it and a squeeze of lime.



butternut squash soup
creamy butternut squash soup

Peanut Butternut Squash soup

2 Tsp peanut oil

4 cups cubed peeled butternut squash

1 cup onion chopped

6 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp ground coriander

4 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 can coconut milk

1/4 tsp crushed pepper

fresh cilantro

Heat peanut oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add squash & the next 5 ingredients to pan.saute 5 minutes until the onion is tender. Add broth, coconut milk, peanut butter, tomato paste & red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes until squash is tender. You may puree at this point or leave for a chunky texture. Top with cilantro.

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