November 28, 2020

Toasting the holidays with soup and burgers

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“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….everywhere you go.”  I love this time of year…the lights, the music, the decorations, the festivities, but mostly I love occasions spent with family and friends.  The time is already going too quickly, there is just not enough opportunity to see everyone and do everything. 

Another joy of this joyous holiday are the celebrations, whether formal or pot-luck.  Here are two recipes that are perfect for sharing in a room filled with friends or by the fireplace with that special someone.


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup


1 large butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded

¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for squash

Bunch fresh sage

½ large onion

1 large carrot

1 celery stalk

½ red bell pepper

4 cups chicken stock (plus more if needed)

½ cup heavy cream

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Crushed red pepper

Salt, freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking dish with canola oil.  Place squash cut side up in dish. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Bake until tender, about 45 minutes.

Place ¼ cup olive oil in large pot over medium high heat. Fry sage until crisp.  Remove and set aside.  Dice vegetables and sauté in flavoured oil.  Lightly season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and crushed red pepper.  When the squash is done, using a large spoon, scrape into the pot; discarding peel.  Add 4 cups stock and simmer 15 minutes.  Using immersion blender, puree until smooth.  Add cream and additional stock, if necessary, to reach desired consistency.  Adjust seasonings.  Stir over medium heat until heated throughout.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with sage leaves.


Cook’s Party Idea:  Serve soup in shot glasses.  Garnish with small dollop of Greek yogurt and sage leaves.

Party Burgers


1 ½ lb. hamburger (80/20)

½ cup burger sauce (recipe follows)

18 small rolls (split and buttered)



Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with oil. Mix meat and sauce. Shape into 18 small burgers.  Bake until done, about 10 minutes.  Do not overcook.  Meanwhile, grill rolls, butter side down, until toasted. Place burger on roll and serve with your favourite condiments.


Burger Sauce

1 cup soy sauce

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup Worchester sauce

½ cup steak sauce

1 tsp. mustard

1 T. Canola oil

1 T. balsamic vinegar

½ tsp. each of garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients in medium saucepan.  Simmer until thickened. Refrigerate unused portion.


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