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Verses from my Kitchen: Saturday Soup and Big Chewy Cookies

August 20, 2011

Saturday Soup and Big Chewy Cookies

It's been a blur of activity these last few weeks. Each day has collapsed into the next one in a steady flow of chaos and confusion and life. Between work and this blog and photography with my wife it seems that I can't catch up. And sometimes, I like it that way. The two of us. Living life.

As much as I love being busy, I do miss the down time that comes with a lack of promises and commitments and allows me the chance to fall back into life at home with my wife, sharing food and conversation. Only her and I, with nothing on the horizon, nothing planned.

This week seemed to never end, but that stems as much from last Sunday's wedding shoot and starting my week a day earlier than any one thing that happened this week. It just felt prolonged, pressed out. And I couldn't wait to run through the line that ends Friday and walk through my front doors and vanish from the world. For one night.

We love summer but nothing compares to autumn in this house. And, little by little, we're starting to see the first signs that appear right before fall does. We sit outside at night and feel the temperature drop, as if from a cliff, right into that perfect spot where the breeze is soft and slightly cool. And the weekend should be the same.

The next couple of days are relatively free for us. No big wedding shoots, but there a couple of family photo sessions. One each day for a couple of hours, where we get the chance to catch a family interacting as only a family does. And then we get the evenings to ourselves. The perfect way to spend a weekend night.

Knowing that we have the next couple of nights alone, I figured it would be the perfect time to bring out a big pot of soup to share. Soup is my go-to meal in the fall and winter and, although I've made cooler seasonal soups since spring, I've been waiting for the time to bring our a comforting, hot soup. And this was the time.

Slowly but surely the new season is coming. My favourite season. The winds of change are swirling about and with it comes the foods that comfort us, hold us and forever have a soft spot locked deep inside of us.

Like this soup. And these cookies.

I made this batch of soup with brown butter because it brings another level of flavour to the bowl. We sat outside just before the sun set when the winds had started up and the noise had died down. Not a sign of life anywhere. We sat at the back table in the yard and talked. About life, love and the weekend ahead. And we enjoyed this.

A couple of hours after that I made a batch of tea and we sat on the front stoop with these big, chewy cookies and watched the world drive by, one car at a time. It's been a bit of a ritual for us, the two of us out on that front porch with a pot of tea and cookies in the summer and fall.

These are the moments I cherish. An evening to slow down, wind down and catch up. Plus, food for two and waiting for fall to be ushered in. All this and a bowl of soup, glass of wine, a handful of cookies and cup of tea. And the two of us. Living life.

From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!

Sweet Potato Soup with Brown Butter and Goat Cheese

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 litre of chicken stock
  • 50 grams goat cheese
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • watercress sprigs, to garnish
  1. Heat a large pan over high heat. Add in the onion and sweet potato and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the onion is tender. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Once the potatoes are tender, puree the soup in batches in a food processor. Return to the pot.
  3. Using a saute pan, set to high heat. Once hot, add in the butter and swirl the pan over the heat to brown the butter evenly. As soon as the foaming settles down and the butter is browned, add it to the pot of soup, reserving a tablespoon.
  4. Ladle the soup into the bowls and top with goat's cheese and watercress. Drizzle the brown butter over top and serve. Serves 4.


At August 20, 2011 at 9:37 AM , Blogger Marnely Rodriguez-Murray said...

Love the brown butter in it and I agree, it just gives food such depth and a more layered flavor :) Gorgeous soup!

At August 20, 2011 at 9:41 AM , Anonymous marla {family fresh cooking} said...

"nothing compares to autumn in this house" This house too. Gosh do we have so much in common. I would love to indulge in this soup and cookies today. A crisp day here in Telluride, CO.

At August 20, 2011 at 10:09 AM , Anonymous Barbara | Creative Culinary said...

The soup looks divine and I just happen to have one very large sweet potato I bought that I've yet to determine what to do with. You've helped; it's known fact how much I love goat cheese and brown butter. I'm making this now...we'll see if I can wait for lunch. :)

I just made some cookies with brown butter the other day too...it does add such a great flavor to foods I'm surprised I don't do it more often.

At August 20, 2011 at 10:23 AM , Anonymous Bev Weidner said...

I just love your stories. And the soup, too. DEAR GOODNESS.

At August 20, 2011 at 11:18 AM , Anonymous Liren said...

I know what you mean! Soup has been front of mind for me too, and this looks lovely. Enjoy some relaxation this weekend :)

At August 20, 2011 at 1:19 PM , Blogger myFudo said...

Love the soup, so mouth watering. And yeah nothing makes us feel free as compared to autumn nights. fabulous photo.

At August 20, 2011 at 8:41 PM , Anonymous SMITH BITES said...

i love the changing of the seasons . . . and every season is my 'favorite' . . . but i do think that fall has the edge because like you, it signals that it's time to slow down the crazy summer activities and settle in with a delicious bowl of soup!

At August 20, 2011 at 9:26 PM , Blogger Brian Samuels Photography said...

This soup sounds absolutely magical... really, how can you go wrong with anything that has brown butter in it? Beautiful recipe, Mike!!! And, yes, I too like the fall... though I'm not ready to be done with the things that come with the summer... like gin and tonics and big lobster dinners.

At August 21, 2011 at 8:05 AM , Blogger Angie's Recipes said...

The soup sounds and looks marvelous! Can't never go wrong with brown butter...;-))

At August 21, 2011 at 12:00 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Amazing pictures! I'm starting to see the first signs of autumn, and it makes me REAL excited too!

At August 21, 2011 at 5:16 PM , Anonymous Sneh | Cook Republic said...

Autumn is so magical isn't it? I love it, my favourite! Soups were made to transition into the beauty of fall, I think. Love the colour of your soup and the sweet cookies! Happy Fall to you and Happy Cooking!

At August 21, 2011 at 5:37 PM , Blogger DawnK said...

Looks yummy! What kind of cookies are those? They look yummy, too. I've noticed bits of fall in WI already, too. There are a few rogue leaves that have already turned color and sometimes the breeze has a little chill, that didn't used to be there.

At August 21, 2011 at 5:55 PM , Anonymous Tiffany said...

What a beautiful soup... perfect for the upcoming fall weather!

At August 21, 2011 at 7:51 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

I'm sucked in. I came here via your smashed grape recipe via Tasty Kitchen and now I'm hooked. This soup looks entirely too lovely, and the story behind the smashed grape cocktail - brilliant!

Thanks for sharing! (do you have a web site for your other photography?)

At August 22, 2011 at 2:26 AM , Anonymous Ross said...

lovely soup! this looks so rich in flavour. thank you for sharing

At August 22, 2011 at 9:29 AM , Anonymous Val said...

Lovely post and soup! I particularly like the originality of the sweet potato soup with the addition of brown butter and goat cheese. It certainly incorporates everything that is fall.

At August 22, 2011 at 12:46 PM , Blogger Shaina said...

This soup looks so perfect. I adore watercress, and I can't wait to sprinkle it liberally over a bowl of soup now.

At August 22, 2011 at 8:32 PM , Anonymous Barbara | Creative Culinary said...

Good intentions got waylaid by phone call and a client...but for reals, it is on the stove and I can't wait for dinner. Serving with some grilled veggies. All the best of summer and this soup...yay!

At August 23, 2011 at 8:11 AM , Blogger Patricia Scarpin said...

Your photos are so beautiful! I love soups, even in warmer days, and love goats cheese too. I'm bookmarking the recipe!

At August 24, 2011 at 9:39 AM , Blogger Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a gorgeous soup and delightful cookies! Both creations look so wonderful.



At August 24, 2011 at 10:48 AM , Blogger Candace said...

I love autumn. With its arrival, I start thinking about soup. This soup is so beautiful. I'm "pinning" it to make soon. Thanks for sharing it!

At August 24, 2011 at 2:55 PM , Blogger Sara said...

This soup looks amazing! I love brown butter, and sweet potatoes + goat cheese is such a good combination...can't wait to try this! :)

At August 26, 2011 at 2:29 PM , Blogger T and Tea Cake said...

Thinking about it, autumn is the season that would have to choose to be my favourite as well. Late summer and autumn, maybe. It's the smell. And the tranquility that is slowly evolving. It's just such a shame that it is followed by winter. Winter is just not my season or at least not when it lasts as long as it lasts. This soup just sounds perfect to me and quite wonderfully captures the time of the year that us coming up. I am already baking and cooking with apples from my garden, adding cinnamon to my coffee. Something I start doing when summer ends.


At August 28, 2011 at 5:41 PM , Anonymous Russell at Chasing Delicious said...

This sweet potato soup sounds scrumptious. Love all the shots. It makes for a great, warm story.


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