Wednesday, November 30, 2011


If you haven't heard of Sofrito, you aren't alone!
It is a base for many dishes in Spanish and Latin American cooking. The recipe varies based on the country of origin; similar sauces are used in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Columbia, and Haiti just to name a few.

Our family thinks it tastes similar to Taco Seasoning and tomato sauce; this recipe however, is much healthier and fresher than dried seasoning packets - and fresher always tastes better!

Sauces | Sofrito Ingredients Image

1 onion
2 tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
*optional 10 cilantro leaves & stems

Remove seeds from peppers and peel onion and garlic. Add all ingredients to a blender and pulse until it makes a thick sauce, much like a non-chunky salsa or spaghetti sauce.

This recipe is incredibly forgiving; use what you have on hand. As long as there is tomato and onion, you can probably call it Sofrito. We have even used tomato sauce when we were low on real tomatoes. It adds an excellent flavor to all sorts of dishes. Sofrito can be used in place of taco sauce, as a sauce for meat, as a soup base, with meat inside empanadas, or even as sauce for a casserole or southwestern-style stir-fry.  Even the onion and pepper-haters at our house like Sofrito-flavored dishes!

Next recipe posting: Wednesday, 12/07/11

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup and Sopapillas

We have had some beautiful butternut squash in the produce boxes over the last few weeks, so here are two recipes to warm you up and satisfy your taste buds while relaxing before (or after) the Thanksgiving rush.

A thick, creamy soup is the perfect meal on a cool fall evening and sopapillas are great for sopping up the extra. They are moist and - surprisingly - don't taste of squash, so if you have squash-haters in your family, this is a great way to use it up!

Curried Butternut Apple Soup

6 cups peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash (about 2 1/2 lbs squash)
2 large sweet apples, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TB butter
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp curry powder
4-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock (use more for a thinner soup)
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese*
2 tsp salt
sour cream and croutons (optional)

Peel and cube the squash and apples into small pieces. Dice the onions.
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook 5-6 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add squash, apples, brown sugar and curry powder. Cook and stir one minute or until curry is fragrant.
Add stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 25-30 minutes or until squash is very soft. Remove from heat.
Carefully ladle 1/3 of mixture into a blender (do not attempt to mix all of the soup at one time!). Leave the plug in the lid slightly open to allow steam to escape and pulse the blender until no chunks remain. Pour into a mixing bowl. Repeat one more time. Mash the remaining soup mixture and add to the puree.
Return to pot and whisk in sour cream and salt until completely incorporated. Return to heat and bring to a simmer again. 
Remove from heat and garnish with sour cream and croutons if desired.

*if desired, sour cream or plain yogurt could be substituted for the cream cheese to make a lighter soup. The soup will be slightly thinner this way.

recipe adapted from The Pampered Chef

Second Day soup - Thai inspired vegetables and rice
Add cooked vegetables (whatever you have - carrots, zucchini, green beans, snap peas, mushrooms) and shredded chicken (leftover Turkey, anyone?) to the leftover soup and serve over rice.

Butternut Squash Sopapillas

1 1/4 cups Butternut squash
4 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
8 TB (1 cube) butter, melted
2 cups oil, for pan-frying

  • Peel, seed and cube the squash. Place in a covered microwave safe dish and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until squash is easily pierced with a fork.
Mix the flour, baking soda and salt together in a mixing bowl and set aside. 
Stir together the squash and melted butter. Stir the flour mixture into the squash until blended. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until soft and satiny, adding a little more flour if necessary. Cover dough and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Roll out dough to 1/8" thick and cut into 3" diameter circles. Poke each circle with a fork in the center to prevent it from ballooning when frying.
Pour vegetable oil into a large skillet and heat over med-high heat until hot. Place several of the circles into the oil and cook until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels. Cook remainder the same way. 

Serve with whipped butter, honey, jam, honey-butter, or soup.

recipe adapted from

Next recipe posting: Wednesday, 11/30/11

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pear Gorgonzola Salad

I am a reformed picky eater; I try new tastes now, but I still do so with some hesitation - but the flavors in this salad blend well with the vinaigrette dressing with no one ingredient dominating the combination. This is a great holiday salad - simple to prepare, but full of taste and ingredients that go beyond the everyday. Serve this up at a holiday gathering this year using the wonderful fresh lettuce, pears and lemons from All Seasons, and wow your friends and family!

Pear Gorgonzola Salad
1 head of green leaf lettuce
3 pears, peeled and sliced
gorgonzola cheese crumbles, to taste (we use about 1/2 of an 8 oz. container
1  6oz. pkg of chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Mix together lettuce and pears. Top with cheese, walnuts, and cranberries. Serve with dressing.

1/2 c vinegar
1/c vegetable oil
juice from 1 lemon
2 1/2 TB. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. finely chopped red onion

Mix together in a blender.

Next recipe scheduled: Wednesday, 11/23/11

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cream of Broccoli Soup

When I was a growing up, my mom used to make this on cold winter days. As a child, I was NOT excited to eat it, but once I left home, I used to search out good broccoli cheese soups on cold days or when I missed home. I finally got the recipe and learned to make my own because there really wasn't much that was as good as Mom's.

I have adapted my recipe to make it somewhat lower in calories than the original. We like to serve it in bread bowls or with a hearty roll if we have them on hand. Pick up some of the Vosen's rolls from All Seasons next time you are there, they have many wonderful varieties.

Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe

Cydne's Cream of Broccoli Soup

2 cups chicken broth (can be made with bouillon)
16 oz broccoli, chopped*
1/2 large onion, finely diced
1/2 cup flour
1/4  cup butter
1 can evaporated milk
2 tsp mustard
1 cup grated cheese, plus extra for serving

In a large pot, cook broccoli and onion in broth until tender. In a separate saucepan, melt butter, stir in flour, milk and mustard and bring to a boil, stirring until thickened.  Add sauce to the broth & broccoli and mix. Add cheese and heat until melted. Serve hot with grated cheese on top, in a bread bowl or with a roll on the side.

*Cauliflower or mushrooms can be substituted for some or all of the broccoli