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Miam! Courge Marron Soup (Butternut Squash and Chestnut soup) & We're going to Spain!

"Miam"  is a French word used to designate the appreciation of something, generally a culinary preparation. It is a word that comes from a child's language but one adults use, too, as a part of their appetite. Definition from

Miam est un terme utilisé pour désigner l'appréciation d'une chose, généralement une préparation culinaire. C'est un mot qui provient du langage enfantin mais dont les adultes se servent également pour faire part de leur appétit. Miam-miam! = yum yum!

ECOUTEZ - Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce today's French word and definition: Download Miam


    by Kristi Espinasse

The first thing I ate when I returned to France, from the Mexican Riviera, was a garden-fresh courge! Before even a pain au chocolat or a slice of comté cheese, I ate that butternut squash and I've eaten two more since. I thought that by eating something grown right in front of our home--by ingesting so many vitamins and minerals from the good French earth--I might be forgiven of all those airport muffins (blueberry, chocolate, pumpkin...) consumed in transit.

Whether airport comfort food or garden comfort food, la nourriture (if you can call airport muffins that) does more than nourish us--it calms or inspires or warms us. Here's a recipe that does all three. Bon appétit!

La Soupe de Courge aux Marrons
Butternut squash and chestnut soup

    Butternut squash
    chestnuts, peeled (find peeled chestnuts here)

    salt and pepper

This is a recipe you will do au pif (by guesswork). Don't worry, it will all work out! Cut up a cup or two of butternut squash, add the same amount (or less, depending on how much you like chestnuts) to the roasting pan (see photo above). Add a small quartered onion (optional) and 2 or 3 garlic cloves. Toss in a few sprigs of parsley and a little celery (optional). Sprinkle paprika, salt and pepper on vegetables. Drizzle olive oil on top and toss all ingredients. Put in the oven at 175C (350F) for 30 or so minutes. Remove from oven and, after it cools, put vegetables in a mixing bowl (or saucepan) with water enough to cover them and a stock cube (or use canned soup stock). Use a handy immersion blender to mix all ingredients into a soup.

I love the rich texture and slight sweetness of this soup--and after a trip, I crave it. It is a good thing there are 5 giant squash remaining in my front garden--because we are going on a road trip tomorrow, and you know what that means...muffins! If there's one thing our family secretly enjoys while traveling, it's all that rest-stop nourishment, aisles and aisles of temptations! (And, arriving home on Sunday, it will be bonjour soup!)

See you next week. And if you would like to follow us on our family road trip to Spain, keep your eye on this Instagram account and bon voyage!


Gâteau Yaourt - everyone in France knows how to make this simple cake, by heart. Do you? Click here

Tarte Tomate. Last of the season's tomatoes? Delicious Tomato pie recipe! Click here.

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Thank you for reading this word journal. A bientôt!

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Julie Farrar

Whew! From your headline I thought you had made your final decision and uprooted your family for a new life in Spain. Glad to know you're just taking a short vacation to recharge before moving ahead on life decisions. Bon Voyage.


Happy Travels!

Judy Truex Reed

Have a fun, safe trip. Glad you are not leaving your home. Judy

Jeanine Allen

I also thought you'd moved! So love and enjoy your blog - appreciate your honesty and daughter is spending the year in Avignon teaching English in the Carpentras elementary schools. So - I do feel I have a very small connection with you - she spent her Junior year of college at the American University in Central Provence (AUCP) in Aix, so loved seeing you move your daughter into that beautiful town! Bonne Chance! Jeanine Allen

BJ Tuininga

Have a safe and wonderful trip..I too thought you were moving! At this stage in life it is GREAT to be impulsive! bj

Audrey Wilson

Buen Viaje !!
Where in Spain ? We are near the border & often go there & spend a month in our caravan too each summer.You should eat well .Try the Sopa de Castillian . I guarantee you'll like it


That's what I understood, too. :)


You gave us a recipe, not just a recipe. You said throw in some of this and a little of that.The last words were very powerful, "don't worry it will turn out". How far you have come! How far you have brought us all on this journey of life.We should all remember to throw in a little of this and that into our lives. It will turn out.Have a great vacation, eat muffins and junk food,and laugh.

Patricia Sands

Bon voyage! I'm eagerly waiting to follow along! My sister-in-law lives in a village halfway between Granada and the coast and I've visited her many times. It's a beautiful area, halfway between the mountains and the sea (a half hour in each direction). She went for a long weekend 27 years ago ... and is still there! Email me if you are going to be in that area, Kristi! You would love her!


I love butternut squash soup with apple, but will try it with chestnuts. What a great idea! It's the perfect season for squash soup.

I hope you and your family are enjoying your vacation in Spain. Off to check out your Instagram account for updates!

Lee Isbell

(I think Kristi likes those "gotta read it now" headlines. )

Leslie NYC

This looks delicious, and I love that you don't seem to peel the squash. I guess it softens enough with roasting? If so, then more vitamins & flavor, but less work! I like it. Have a great trip!


I also love butternut squash and have a couple of favorite recipes, including a ginger squash soup. Can't wait to try this one.


Our dear Kristi,
Have a wonderful time!
And what a beautiful place to visit!
THANK YOU for leaving us with this delicious soup to try!
What a terrific combination!
Miam is right! And how!
Heading off to the market now for the ingredients!(hopefully they will again have the squash all pre chopped so I don't have to hassle with it.Knives are definitely not aways my friend)
Natalia XO

Judith Dunn

...Bon voyage a tous! Have a fabulous vacay en Espagne! Prenez beaucoup des photos, s v p !! Love and hugs, Judi Dunn, tallahassee, Florida


I think you should peel the squash.

Karen Cafarella

Have a great trip!

Look forward to reading about all the families adventure.

Thanks for the soup recipe, Yummy!


Chris Allin

It easilyt slips off after roasting!

Chris Allin

Dear Kristi,

I am another who thought at first you were moving to Spain! Hmm. Was there perhaps some intended humor here?
After your last post, I found a butternut squash with chestnuts soup recipe that was almost exactly like the recipe you offer today. It was thick and filling that, with just a salad, it was dinner! The squash was so big, half is left, so we will have another round. The other two recipes you mention (tomato tart and yogurt cake) have become favorites. So thank you for some wonderful sweet and savory moments!

Enjoy your get away. It will be fun to tag along...

Cynthia Lewis

Bon voyage!! Have a wonderful trip. Thanks for the recipe; I, too, bought a winter squash today in hopes of making your delicious (and easy) soup tomorrow. Best wishes....

Cynthia Lewis

P.S. Please thank Jean-Marc for his translation today. I always learn so much when I listen to them carefully several times. He very thoughtfully speaks slowly so folks like me can understand!

Carolyn Chase

Muffins count as "nurriture de l'esprit" (Soul Food?) Bon voyage!

Louise Milota

I'm intrigued by your Yogurt Cake. But I'm wondering, isn't that a lot of sugar? I'll try it with one yogurt container full of sugar and let you know.

Michel Reynolds

I just ordered some chestnuts and will get a butternut squash. Will try the recipe as soon as the chestnuts arrive. Sounds wonderful, and I love butternut squash soup anyway.

Have a great time on your trip to Spain!

Faye in Gleneden Beach OR

Good to hear you are on holiday. I thought this was a permanent move! Stay well & safe!

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