Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spiced Squash, Fennel & Pear Soup

We are breaking our "code of anonymity" and actually publishing a photo.  Ta da !  In addition to having the Pear Soup recipe this week, Nana and I enjoyed a book signing by Lidia Bastianich at our local Williams Sonoma and we could not resist including it this week. We hope Dorie doesn't mind :)

Per Nana:

I made this soup using an acorn squash that I cut and
roasted as per Dorie's instructions. She mentioned using a
 knife to test for doneness rather than the clock, however
 I had to take mine out of the oven before
the 60 minute timer went off. 
 It was quite well done, and I scooped the meat
 out of the shell instead of peeling it.

At this point, I liked the taste of the vegetable, but the
 combination with the rest of the ingredients just did not work for me.
It is  simple to make. I used my Cuisinart to blend the
 soup and the result was very smooth and creamy.

Unfortunately, the soup was so bland that
 Hubby and I did not enjoy it.  
I decided to share the rest of the dish with Tricia's
family, hoping perhaps it will work for them.
Per Tricia:
I was really looking forward to trying this one -
 just based on it's title.  Love it all. 
But after Nana delivered her pot of soup over here,
 days before I was to try mine - well, you guessed it. 
My incentive to try the recipe went south.
 I decided that if my family enjoyed her soup, I would go
ahead and make a pot myself to work through the recipe.
It was not a hit.  

Mixed results for sure.  I found that when I tasted it
I spent all the time "deconstructing" the flavors in my mouth,
rather than just thinking "this tastes great". 
Could not say that I disliked it, but I also couldn't say
 that I like it very much either.
  My younger son tried the soup and instantly
 turned up his nose after one spoon.  Done.

  My husband has an adventurous palate and declared
 that he liked it very much.  I said that I would then make
 a pot which he responded that I need not go that far.

Nana and I did agree that we loved the texture of this soup.
 We have often commented that we would love to replicate
 various soups we have enjoyed in France, and Dorie
 inspired us this week to get back in the kitchen and experiment.
 That makes it a successful French Friday after all !

And P.S. - I told Nana I would handle the lamb next week  
since another thing we have learned from FFWD is
who does and does not like Cardamom........

Chef Jimmy from Ralph's Restaurant.  His demo was phenomenal and filled the whole store with mouthwatering aromas. The Chicken Trombino was so amazing that we will be loading the car soon enough to head into Philly so we can share seconds with the rest of the family.....
Claims to be the oldest Italian restaurant in Philly. Lidia is a fan and included their Chicken Trombino recipe in her new book, so they were invited to join the book signing. Lucky us !


  1. Hi! What a great picture of two beautiful ladies-- it's nice to put a face with the blog! How neat that you all got to meet Lidia Bastianich! I used to watch her on TV with my Grandma. Sounds like it was a fun event with some delicious food!

  2. Great photo - glad to "meet" you both :) So cute!

    I actually really loved th subtlety of this soup but can see it's not for everyone. Have a happy weekend!

  3. How fun! Watching Lydia @ 7:30 on Sunday mornings is a ritual in my house. She cracks me up.
    Waves "hi" - nice to meet you :-)
    Sorry the soup wasn't a hit for you. It went over well in our house - but I can see where some of the flavors might not work for everyone.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. Great picture of both of you! I agree with Ryan, nice to put your faces with your blog! Lydia is one of my favorites! How nice to get to meet her. Your soup looks luscious, sorry it didn't work for either of you. My husband is looking less picky as I read all the comments. I really enjoyed it! Happy weekend!

  5. The soup looks great, as does the break in anonymity! Cute photo!

  6. That book signing sounds like so much fun! How nice to get to meet Lydia and what a lovely photo.

    Sorry to hear that you did not enjoy the soup, but it happens, hopefully next week works out better. I'm just happy that the cardamom I purchased back when we made that rice recipe is not going to waste.

  7. Looks like you both had a great time at the book signing! I found that this soup needs a heavy hand with seasoning. Took me a long time to adjust the salt. Also the quality of squash can make a huge difference. It's a complete lottery whether you end up with a sweet or bland one.

    Can't wait to read about your lamb experience next week! I'm on the fence if I'm going to tackle that recipe.

  8. Tricia, I had to laugh at your hubby's comment. But it sounded like he enjoyed it more than mine :) I'm not sure what I'm going to make on FFwD has reaffirmed my hubby's dislike of curries. GREAT photo of you both!!! What a fun experience. Have a wonderful weekend!

  9. Nana and Tricia, you both are GORGEOUS ladies! So glad to see the faces behind the blog at last. Good thing Nana saved you from making more soup this week, Tricia, as it sounded like this dish wasn't a real hit in both your homes. Next week's recipe sounds more promising as I like cardamom, but I'm not so keen on lamb so I might substitute that with beef.

    To be honest, I don't know who Lydia is but she must've been thrilled to have her photo taken with not one, but two FFWD celebrity chefs! ;-)

  10. That is a beautiful photo of both of you with Lidia! How wonderful that you got to meet her. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the soup. All of us enjoyed it, although my daughter didn't like the texture and would have preferred I left it chunky.

  11. Love the photo of you guys...I'm so glad to put faces to all your wonderful posts. I used butternut squash, which I think might have a little deeper flavor than acorn. Sorry you guys weren't thrilled with this soup. Hopefully the stew this week goes over well with everyone!

  12. Wonderful photo & lovely to see you both! What a fun adventure. I didn't get a chance to make the soup as I was out of town this weekend wine-tasting in Paso Robles - yay!

    I got a little ahead of myself with the Lamb, but wanted to allow enough time to make it. I was truly surprised at how good it was, so I hope you'll enjoy it as well!

  13. I saw that you commented on Cup of Jo's giveaway for the necklace...I am doing a similar one & I think you would love it! Come check it out...


  14. Ladies, I've always loved your honest reviews of these recipes. And thank goodness I read this because I was thinking of making in on Sunday for some friends I am having over. And I loved all the photos with Lydia! You two sisters are just so stinkin' cute. Love coming over.

    Maria @ A Platter of Figs

  15. That's a great photo! You look pretty close to my mind's photo of you every time I read your blog. I also did the soup...a little catch up...and must admit I added extra flavors and also lots of sweet potato which has more flavor that it worked, but not a favorite. Just makes me feel like I'm eating healthy with all those fresh veges.

  16. Nice to put faces with the names. Sorry this soup didn't work out so well for anyone in your family. Hopefully you'll love the lamb when you get to it. We visited Pittsburgh last fall and ate at Lidia's restaurant there. How fun to meet her in person. Happy Thanksgiving Ladies!

  17. Hello N and T- Hey! I ate at Ralph's too. My South Philly-transplanted daughter took us there when we visited Summer '10. It was fantastic! Nice photo. Lucky you, meeting Lidia. :c )

  18. You're adorable!!!

    I have to tell you, Tricia is one of the most
    uplifting people there is!
    So happy to see your face.

    I'm bookmarking this page.