I have a few favorite local lunch spots that my girlfriends and I frequent often when we want to have a ladies lunch, Marin style. Marin style means it’s all about being casual when going to lunch to meet your friends. It’s really about the conversation and food, not the stuffiness of having to get all dressed up or look a certain way, who wants to do that? Marin is a laid-back, easygoing community, and that is why I love it so.
One of our favorite lunchtime spots is Rustic Bakery in Larkspur. This is not just a bakery but also an amazing breakfast and lunch cafe. They have some of the most magnificent salads, sandwiches and baked goods. Everything at the cafe is made with local and organic ingredients.
I was a happy girl when I picked up a copy of Organic Marin from my local library and saw one of my favorite soup recipes from Rustic Bakery inside. I was excited to go home and re-create this soup for my family and I to have for lunch over the weekend.
Rustic Bakery’s Roasted Butternut Squash Soup:
Recipe from Organic Marin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), halved and seeded
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to rub on squash halves
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to rub on squash halves
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 shallots, chopped
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
Remove the squash from the oven and let cool.
Reserve the garlic cloves and discard the thyme.
Add the roasted butternut squash, the reserved garlic cloves, 1/2-teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper (or just add a pinch of salt and a few turns of the pepper grinder, that is what I do) and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until the squash begins to caramelize and stick to the bottom of the pan.
Note: Break up the squash with your spoon and stir it frequently so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Stir in the 1/4-cup cream.
This soup was very flavorful, rich and delicious. It actually tasted better day two, as the flavors had a chance to mesh together.
I paired it up with my kale salad and these crispy olive oil and sea salt crackers from Rustic Bakery. You don’t always have to go out to lunch to have a gourmet lunch experience. It’s nice to sometimes treat yourself to a gourmet lunch at home either by yourself or with a few close friends.