MEL × RIVERBEND: 6 Ingredient Sweet Potato + Butternut Potage
Simple sweet potato and butternut squash soup recipe

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

keep the soup base simple

I'm of the opinion that every ingredient on a plate, or in a bowl, deserves it's time to shine! Now, I love a good soup or stew packed to the brim with all the veggies as much as the next gal, but there's something about blended soups (potage for the food geeks among us) that has me drawing the line at a handful of ingredients.

I feel that this way, it allows each ingredient to lend a hand to the others instead of competing for space and flavor. This particular recipe could be done with even less ingredients by going entirely in one direction with the sweet potatoes or the butternut. In both cases, it results in a similarly luscious texture and gives the primary veg just that much more space to showcase its complex sweetness. 

 
easy butternut squash soup recipe
 

What grows together goes together

Making potage is, I think, is as old as the world. Well perhaps at least the french world, and then maybe a little bit beyond that. In Europe, people often planted potage gardens or potager which were vegetable gardens named this way because if you were to harvest everything and boil it together it would make good soup. Pretty nifty right?

In today's day and age, I'm not sure I'd want to blend together everything in my garden. For one, there are way too many herbs. However, CSA baskets (or farm stands) are a great place to start exploring the potential of doing one or two main ingredient potage because if they old addage is right, if it grows together it goes together. 

 
luscious and easy butternut soup recipe
toppings make the soup
 

toppings make the soup shine

I think you've now figured out that I really play by the keep it simple silly approach, but there's one more thing that we really need to have a quick chat about. Creating a base that doesn't compete with itself opens the door to some really fun topping options. I usually dig through with what ever I have in the pantry at that moment, looking for a little punch of salt or acidity to add on top. Sometimes, salt flakes is all it takes but in this case I was really craving a salty & herbaceous blend to cut through the sweetness of the base.

I went for cilantro + feta, with a few sliver of almonds (because they're pretty but also complement the earthy goodness of this soup). I know everyone isn't a huge fan of cilantro, so if that's not your jam, consider parsley or a tiny bit of rosemary or sage. Be warned though, they go a mighty long way!

 


4 SERVINGS

4C sweet potato
1 small butternut
2 small yellow onions
1/2 head of garlic
4C vegetable stock
2 T coconut oil

Toppings

Slivered almonds
Feta
Fresh cilantro or parsley

10 MIN PREP + 25 mins cook

Peel & chop onions & sweet potatoes roughly.
In a large soup pot, over medium heat, add the coconut oil & the onions.
Cook them until they begin to caramelize then add the sweet potatoes, garlic & stock.
Bring up to the boil & cook until the potatoes have softened.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup, it should be thick & creamy.
Serve topped with almonds, feta & fresh herbs.


WASTE LESS TIP

Storing most varieties of winter squash is as easy as keeping them on the counter. They tend to hold up quite well for a few weeks if the kitchen isn't crazy hot and steamy most of the time. If you'd like to hold on to them longer, consider storing them in a cool dry place (basements are usually ideal) where they can keep for a few months.

Pro tip: Rotate them from time to time and check for moisture to keep them from rotting.


WANT TO TRY A FEW MORE SQUASH DISHES THIS WEEK? CHECK OUT THESE EASY RECIPES:

MEL × RIVERBEND: Watch out charcuterie boards, vegetable boards are in town
Vegetable board perfect starter dish - the nomadic wife

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

A quick board for when friends come over

I always love having friends over, even when they pop by for an impromptu visit! Depending on the time of day they drop in, I like to whip up a quick something that we can snack on while we hang out and catch up (or just slow down long enough to take a good deep breath).

So, I started making this little spreads, inspired by the classic charcuterie board or cheese boards that are all over right now. The main hiccup is that we don't really keep fancy salted meats or strong cheese in the house so I got creative and started using what I love most, pulses and veggies.

 
simple cabbage & white bean salad - the nomadic wife
Cabbage with lime, cilantro & white bean makes the perfect salad - the nomadic wife
 

Something bright and fresh

The recipe of this post is the one you see above right here. It plays a crucial part in the board by adding a nice dash of bright zesty freshness! I make this salad for people who love cilantro, but you can easily swap that out for a parsley dressing if cilantro is in your hate pile.

The beans in here add a nice little light-lunch feel, where you feel full but not stuffed & to make the process even faster, I usually keep canned beans on hand so you don't need to worry about anything other than rinsing them and draining them well.

 
Simple cabbage and white bean salad - the nomadic wife
 

Good bread: The Foundation

If you're anything like me, you know a good crusty bread when you see one. For impromptu visitors, however, I tend to just pull flutes or baguettes out of the freezer, let them thaw a touch and pop them in the oven so they have that fresh-baked feel. It takes about 5-6 minutes for flutes and 10-15 for baguette which is about the time you'll need to put together the rest of the board. Perfect!

Be warned though, once bread is reheated after it comes out of the freezer it tends to get hard, so you may want to consider doing this with any leftovers.

 
Half smashed white bean dip - the nomadic wife
New alternative to charcuterie boards - the nomadic wife
 

Mix and match

Now comes the fun part. You have a bright, zesty salad and some good bread...time to round out this board.

My approach is simple. Cut up some veggies, call it good.

If you have avocado kicking around, a quick guac may be the way to go. If you don't use the whole can of beans you can turn THAT into a 5 min dip by blending it with olive oil, salt, paprika & a clove of garlic.

I also like to add freshly pickled or fermented things to the board. So kimchi, pickled veggies or olives make for a great way to take this thing over the top.

 


2-4 SERVINGS

1/2 head of cabbage
1/2 14 oz can of white beans
Fresh cilantro or parsley
1 lime, juiced
Olive oil
Salt

10 MIN PREP 

Shred the cabbage & add it to a large bowl with a good pinch of salt.
Rinse & drain the beans and add them along with the chopped coriander.
Juice the lime over the bowl, drizzle olive oil and toss until everything is well coated.


WASTE LESS TIP

Herbs tend to be the ficklest of friends in the kitchen, but many of them (basil, garlic, parsley shallot, chives for example) can be stored frozen in ice cubes covered in olive oil. Just remove them to sealed containers once frozen. Others can be hung to dry for later use.

 


WANT TO TRY A FEW MORE CABBAGE DISHES THIS WEEK? CHECK OUT THESE EASY RECIPES:

MEL × RIVERBEND: Herbaceous Spanish Tortilla de papa
perfect weekend brunch recipe, spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife
Quiche or tortilla: a simple recipe by the nomadic wife

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

Eggs are seldom only eggs.

I'd love to say I grew up on quiches and variations there of, but the truth is I mostly have fond memories of eating them in small restaurants and food-court lunches in Montreal with my cousin, Cat. When she worked downtown, I would go meet her every so often for lunch and we would have this beautiful quiche in a little sandwich & soup place near her office.

Those fun loving lunches, filled with laughter and all matter of things not only left me with an immense sense of joy, but they introduced me to a gloriously fluffy egg dish, typically filled with vegetables and herbs. I was smitten with quiche and always thought it must be immensely difficult to reproduce. Little did I know.

As the years went on, I then discovered the French omelette (thank you Julia Childs), the Italian frittata & finally the Spanish tortilla. While I loved them all for their differences, and they all have a place in my kitchen, these days I have to admit I'd rather not turn on the oven for a plate of eggs.

Call it laziness if you must, but if I'm hosting a group of girlfriends or enjoying this by myself, I like to just be able to cover for a few minutes, let it fluff up to a soft pillowy goodness, then rest and scoop it right into my mouth.

 
Herbaceous spanish tortilla recipe by the nomadic wife
simple brunch recipe all your girlfriends will love
 

Tortilla, Quiche & Frittata 

To crust or not to crust? To add dairy or not add dairy? To pan fry or bake? Ahh! How many existential questions can possibly surround a good plate of well whisked eggs?

Truth be told, this recipe falls somewhere in the middle. While it does include yogurt for fluffiness (which I love to substitute in the place of a more traditional creme fraiche), it's crust-less so by definition not a quiche, which usually comes in a crisp, flaky, well buttered crust.  Both the filling ingredients and the egg are set together in a pan, so one could argue it's truly a frittata, yet it's loaded with potatoes which is most often found in tortilla.

The way it's cooked and set also makes a difference. Typically a quiche is baked in the oven. While a frittata is started in a hot pan and finished in the oven & a tortilla is done completely stove top by flipping it halfway (if you're a ninja) or covering immediately after adding the egg mixture which is the technique I've used here.

Let me say that all three types of egg filled dishes are divine, but this one has a special place in our kitchen.


 
simple spanish tortilla with herbs by the nomadic wife
 

Poh-tay-toh   Poh-tah-toh

Not all potatoes are created equal & exploring the different varieties is definitely part of the perks of getting a Riverbend Garden CSA share. In this recipe, I used the Mozart variety (beautiful pink on the outside and yellow flesh on the inside) because it lends itself well to be smashed or mashed. I find that it tends to be a little bit more tender than most, but cooked the way I've done it here it doesn't quite fall apart.

Each potato has it's purpose, because of how the flesh is composed. Some are better boiled, others baked or even make the perfect french fries. If you're curious about which direction to head when you're facing a new potato, there's a handy-dandy little page right here that can give you some insight.


 
Torilla with chives, parsley, garlic & shallot by the nomadic wife
A simple weeknight potato dish, spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife
 

What can I put in tortilla?

Well the traditional take is potatoes (Tortilla de Papa) to start and then truly you can add what ever you like. Softer vegetables tend to do well in here, especially if you give them a chance to release their water before pouring in the egg mixture. Think of onions, shallots, peppers, zucchini or even greens like spinach or kale.

In this version, I focused on aromatics and herbs. So I skipped the vegetables in favor of chives, shallots, garlic & parsley and it always turns out perfectly lovely.

 
Our new favorite potatoes and egg dish spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife
Steaming hot plate of spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife

2 SERVINGS

10-12 fingerling potatoes
1 clove garlic
1 medium shallot
½ C chopped chives
½ C chopped parsley
2 T butter, divided

2 eggs
1 T yogurt
2 T milk
1 t olive oil
Salt & pepper

10 MIN PREP + 20 MINS COOK

Start by dicing your potatoes into uniform bite size pieces and placing them in a small pan with enough water to cover.
Boil the potatoes over medium heat until all the water has evaporated then add 1 T of butter and reduce heat to medium low to allow the potatoes to finish cooking and brown slightly.
In the meantime, chop your garlic, chives, shallot and parsley, then add them to the potatoes & mix well.
In a small bowl, mix eggs, yogurt, milk, olive oil, pinch of salt & pepper until you have a uniform blend.
Give the potatoes a good stir, then pour over the eggs and give the pan a quick shake to ensure even distribution. 
Cover with the pan lid and cook until the middle is set, about 5-6 minutes.


WASTE LESS TIP

Herbs tend to be the ficklest of friends in the kitchen, but many of them (basil, garlic, parsley shallot, chives for example) can be stored frozen in ice cubes covered in olive oil. Just remove them to sealed containers once frozen. Others can be hung to dry for later use.

 


WANT TO TRY A FEW MORE Potato DISHES THIS WEEK? CHECK OUT THESE EASY RECIPES: