I have a Vitamix 3600. It’s awesome. This is also the original owner’s manual and cookbook- also awesome. The Vitamix is a circa 1970 marvel with a high power blender and pouring spout that also heats; perfect for soup making.  My dad found this gem at a yard sale in perfect working condition. After a little cleaning, it is as good as new. Items like this, with history, add something extra to family meals. There’s a story behind them. Aside from feeding my addictions to small appliances and old things, this gadget is very handy to have around for numerous kitchen tasks besides soup making. It can blend, mix, juice, puree- even freshly grind wheat to make flour. There’s no limit to what this thing can do. I’m basically obsessed so I like to try to use it whenever I can.

Making soup is nice because it is easy.  You can throw various things in a pot and it usually turns out edible. It is really easy to freeze so can be made ahead. It’s usually even better the next day or two. It is also our go-to the day before grocery shopping when you need to use up leftovers or veggies and fruits that are about to go bad. It can be extended to save money by adding chicken or vegetable stock and repurposed to add variety–so many options.
I found some gorgeous butternut squash at the farmer’s market last week and was feeling like some hearty, winter soup. This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Simply in Season.  It’s easy, fast, and versatile and makes a basic squash soup. I like to add brown sugar at the end before serving to sweeten it up a little. It’s delicious. You could also add goat cheese or chopped walnuts to mix it up. The recipe suggests that you could even substitute sweet potatoes for the squash. Admittedly, I rarely follow recipes to the letter but this book serves as a great inspiration or jumping off point. Plus, the pictures are pretty!
In celebration of soup, Berlin Intermediate School is having a fundraiser called the Soup Bowl Project, Tuesday, February 28th, starting at 5 pm.  Students and teachers created handmade bowls that you can buy for $5-$20 and fill with soup donated by local businesses.  I know that The Globe, for one, is cooking up some delicious-ness.  Come out to support the kiddies!