Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving in a Bowl Soup

Sorry for the long silence, guys. Oh, I’ve been cooking, but I haven’t made anything exciting in weeks. Nothing that’s inspired me to write a post that’s longer than 140 characters. (See my Twitter feed, at right, for the latest in Yulinka Cooks non-news.)

This soup is a rare exception. I thought of it while driving home from a post-Thanksgiving shopping trip, knowing I had various soup-friendly ingredients to use up. The ingredients were chicken stock, a bunch of spinach, butternut squash puree originally made for ravioli, the aforementioned ravioli, and leftover turkey.

This is how it all came together. I brought the chicken stock to simmer and added the butternut squash puree (roasted squash, a few tablespoons each of butter and whipped cream cheese, hint of sage and nutmeg--yum). In the meantime, in a skillet, I sautéed a diced onion in olive oil, and added a bunch of chopped spinach to the pan when the onion was almost cooked. The spinach was sautéed for a few minutes until it wilted. I added the vegetables to the chicken stock; then I added few handfuls of pre-frozen butternut squash ravioli to the soup pot.

I hesitate to share my ravioli recipe because a) it was something I created on a lark one Sunday night, b) I didn’t really follow a recipe and I didn’t use a pasta machine to roll out my dough, two steps usually recommended for fresh pasta-beginners, and c) I really overstuffed the ravioli and most of them didn’t seal properly. (I used this pasta dough recipe, but in the future I’ll follow this excellent, detailed guide to making fresh pasta.)

Anyway, when the ravioli were almost cooked—it only took about 2 minutes—I added some diced, roasted turkey to the soup pot. Some stirring, a bit of kosher salt, some black pepper, and the soup was done. It was creamy, slightly sweet, nourishing and filling. It was like a festive holiday meal with your family, assuming you like your family. It was Thanksgiving in a bowl, in short. I will be making this again and again.

Note: Keep in mind that you can substitute quite a lot of ingredients here—you don’t need butternut squash ravioli; just use a favorite pasta or diced, cooked potatoes (or forget the starch altogether). Instead of turkey, you could use leftover chicken, ham or diced sausage. But do make the butternut squash puree.

13 comments:

irina said...

Julia, you should do a series of holidays-in-a-bowl. How about "Easter in a Bowl"? I'm thinking lamb, rice, and hard-boiled eggs... Or "Christmas in a Bowl"... which in my case, would be a deconstructed cabbage roll.

Julia (alias Yulinka Cooks) said...

Irina-That's a cute idea... There's a lot I could do with "Halloween in a Bowl." Lots of ways to get creative with Russian/Soviet holidays, too. Maslenitsa in a bowl...

irina said...

I thought of Halloween in a Bowl, but my mind just produced a mix of pumpkin and candy. However, I do think "Diwali in a Bowl" would be amazing. Also, "Rosh Hashana" in a bowl would be pretty great too... an apple egg salad with some kind of honey dressing?

Irina said...

Hi Julia,

This is the "other" Irina, from Seattle... It's funny that you have two Irinas commenting on this particular post! Your invention sounds delicious and I will be sure to make it some day, probably without the butternut squash ravioli but definitely with the butternut puree mixed into the broth. Unfortunately - or perhaps fortunately - I will probably eat all of it alone because my husband does not like butternut squash, or any other vegetables that have a sweet taste. I, on the other hand, love things like butternut squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and beets, so whenever he is traveling and I am home alone, I feast on my favorite sweet vegetables...

irina said...

That is hilarious. Well, nice to meet you, Irina!

Irina said...

Nice to meet you, too! :)

Julia (alias Yulinka Cooks) said...

Irina (12:09)--My SO doesn't like sweet veggies either, so I made and ate this for and by myself. More for me.

adele said...

I just made up a huge batch of turkey gumbo with my leftover turkey, and I am now trying to find friends who haven't turkey-ed themselves out.

It's a shame I didn't see this sooner... then again, the honest truth is that I don't like turkey all that much. I might just make butternut squash soup with spinach and pasta instead. ;)

Anonymous said...

Julia,
Your posts are very very cool! I enjoyed reading them all. I just remembered today that there is a very nice site with Russian recipes http://www.good-cook.ru. May be you will find some inspiration there to cook more Russian dishes and write for us your commentary and opinions.
Thank you,
Galina
P.S.#1 I agree on so many points with you: for example, that bread in Rome is way better then in Paris.
P.S.#2 Please, please, write more posts! They are sunnier now, which means you are happier! Also, it is a great practice to form your writing style!

Julia (alias Yulinka Cooks) said...

Galina-Thanks for the kind words and the link. I'll take a look. Yes, blogging is a great writing exercise...I just need to make more time for it. And cook more.

rosalina said...

i wish my country celebrated thanksgiving also :p haha your picture looks delicious!! haha

Deadly Vanilla Sunshine said...

This looks amazing. Too bad we usually don't have leftover ravioli by the end of the meal :) I may try this recipe with some minis though...

Julia (alias Yulinka Cooks) said...

Vanilla--I made the ravioli specifically for this and froze them. Otherwise, I'd eat them all right away. :)

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