Every autumn when the holidays are approaching, the inner Julia Child in me comes out in full force (minus about 6 inches in height, but dang that woman was tallllllllllll). So when it comes to brunching, from November till about March, I often spend the weekend whipping up a feast that could feed a small army- or in my family’s house, we call it snack time.
This in-between season for vegetables is perhaps one of many favorite times for cooking. A select assortment of summer produce is still in the stores (zucchini and yellow squash) but the butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash weasel their way back into our recipes! So for the first official fall-time brunch I decided to prepare 3 of my all time favorite dishes to share with you!
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
In the fall I could pretty much consume soup for 3 meals a day, and this roasted butternut squash soup is on the top of my list this year. Granted, roasting the vegetables is an extra step that most people tend to skip, but I think it adds a flavor profile that is too good to miss out on.
I begin by roasting 1 whole butternut squash, a handful of apples, carrots celery and onions for 45 minutes. They are seasoned with fresh thyme and sage before simmering in chicken stock and being blended to creamy perfection. Most people are into this whole “one pot meal” deal these days, but believe me- the one extra pan you’ll have to wash is worth it!
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup Recipe:
- 1 large butternut squash
- 3 carrots
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 apples (crisp and tart like honeycrisp or gala)
- a few sprigs of thyme (according to taste)
- 4 sage leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- sprinkle of garlic powder
- 3 tbsp olive oil for roasting
- 5 cups chicken stock
Peel and chop the vegetables then toss together in seasoning and olive oil to coat. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour or until lightly browned. Just before the vegetables are done roasting, bring your stock to a boil. Add the vegetables to the stock and let simmer for 20 minutes (remembering to take out the sage leaves and scrape the thyme off of its stem). This allows for all of those delicious flavors to incorporate before blending. Then it’s time to go to town with the immersion blender until any chunks are gone and the soup is smooth and creamy (if you don’t have an immersion blender handy, transfer small batches of vegetables and broth into a food processor to blend).
Notice there is no cream or butter in this recipe. because of the slow roasting of the vegetables you still achieve that creamy soft consistency without all the extra calories!
Just finish with a garnish of roasted pumpkin seeds and a few dried cranberries and that pot of soup will be gone before you can peel the next batch of squash!
Spiral Squash Quiche
My next recipe is an egg dish perfectly appropriate for any brunching situation. Utilizing the zucchini and yellow squash I had laying around, I began with a homemade pie crust (I doubled the recipe and used the other half for some to-die-for apple pies below). This quiche is delicious as it is beautiful, you’ll be sure to stun your guests with the labor of love you poured over this dish and all you did was use a mandolin!
So to start, combine the egg, milk, flour and shredded cheese and pour half of the mixture over the bottom of the pie crust. Thinly slice zucchini, yellow squash and carrots. Begin spiraling from the middle of the pie crust, interweaving each vegetable until you reach the outer edge. Once complete, pour the remaining egg mixture over the top of the vegetables and sprinkle with feta cheese. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, until edges of the vegetables are golden brown and the eggs are firm.
Spiral Squash Quiche Recipe:
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 zucchini
- 2 yellow squash
- 2 carrots
- 1 pie crust of choice
The trick to this quiche is all in the spiral. once you get about halfway through, it begins to hold up on its own. By pouring half the egg mixture before spiraling, you have a slight base for the vegetables to stand. I like keep the vegetables a little loose so I can fill the empty spaces with more egg and an extra sprinkle of feta cheese
Last but certainly not least is the dessert portion of this brunching bonanza- delicious, hot apple pie.
Homemade Apple Pie
Now since I am possibly the most indecisive person you will ever meet, I prepared two types of apple pie for this occasion. A traditional lattice pie crust, and one with a cinnamon oat crumble. And yes, we did top them with generous helpings of vanilla ice-cream.
This recipe is the simplest one of the whole day, but possibly encompasses the most complex flavors. Flaky, buttery, salty pie crust, sweet and tart apples, cinnamon spice and crumbly brown sugar topping. Yes I know, your mouth is watering. So go make this recipe and your taste buds will thank me!
Apple Pie Recipe 2 Ways:
- 1 pie crust of choice, divided in 2
- 6 apples
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp water
For my apple pies I like to cube the apples rather than slice them. It’s a personal preference, but I like the idea that the texture is a cross between apple pie and apple crisp. Once the apples are peeled and diced, combine melted butter, vanilla, lemon juice and water. Mix in dry ingredients so everything is incorporated. Pour over apples and toss until evenly coated. Distribute filling evenly between pie crusts.
Optional Crumb Topping
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tbsp cold butter
Combine all ingredients by cutting flour, oats sugar and cinnamon into the cold butter until crumbly. If the butter is not chopping well, its okay to get a little messy. Break up the pieces of butter with your fingers to fully incorporate all the flavors.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes, or until topping is firm and crust is browned. The only thing left to do is scoop that ice-cream, and try to be patient enough as to not burn your tongue on steaming hot apples!
There are only a few weekends left to celebrate autumn before the holidays surely take over! So grab all the harvesty produce you can and get cooking! And be sure to invite a few friends to enjoy this most beautiful time of year (and the delicious treats too)