Jesse Cooks: Portabello Burgers and Squash-Sundried Tomato Soup

Hello readers and happy Monday! I’m having some computer problems (ugh), so I might be MIA from blogging for a few days. Luckily, Jesse sent me a very timely guest post. His portabello mushroom burgers look amazing – enjoy!

To go along with Megan’s Meat-Free Month, I thought I’d cook up portabello mushroom burgers to pair with my favorite squash soup recipe.  I wanted to treat myself to some really good food for my birthday (Megan says: Happy Birthday Jesse!!), so I went over the farmer’s market and came home with a great selection.  This dinner turned out to be a very interesting mix of Summer and Fall dishes, quite fitting for this time of year!  The squash soup is a variation of a recipe from the cookbook “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon which has tons of great recipes inspired by traditional cuisines from around the world and I found the portabello burger recipe online at Unfortunately it turned into a rainy day, so I couldn’t actually use the grill to make the burgers, so I just roasted and broiled the veggies and mushrooms instead.

I started earlier in the day by making the Squash-Sundried Tomato Soup (I added a few extra ingredients because I had them on hand).

1 butternut squash
1 sweet potato
2 medium carrots
2 medium onions
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 quart vegetable stock (plus a little water)
Olive oil
1 Tbsn Dried Basil
Red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper


The first step is to peel, seed, cut up, and roast the squash and sweet potato with some olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast at 400 until tender, about 30 – 40 minutes.  While the squash and sweet potato are roasting, chop up the carrots and onions.  When the squash and sweet potato are done roasting, saute the onions in olive oil in a large soup pot for a few minutes then add the red pepper flakes, carrots, and sun-dried tomatoes.  Continue to saute for a few more minutes until things are getting nice and tender.  Pour in the stock and let it come to a boil before adding the roasted squash and potato.


Season with a bit of salt and pepper and let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently so the soup doesn’t stick to the bottom.  One final step is to puree the soup and sprinkle in the basil.  If you happen to have a hand-held blender that would be a good option, but you could also use a blender or food processor to puree the soup.  It comes out creamy and delicious.  This soup is great either hot or chilled.

The Portabello Burgers turned out to be quite involved, but the result was definitely worth the effort!

Here’s what I put on the burgers:

Roasted portabello caps
Roasted summer squash
Roasted red pepper (pureed and mixed with a bit of mayo and garlic)
Fresh Basil
All on toasted ciabatta rolls!


Start by roasting the red pepper.  Broil until it starts to turn black and blister on all sides, turning frequently!  Toss the pepper in a paper bag to cool slightly then peel off the blackened skin, cut it open, remove the seeds.  Cool the and blend with a little bit of mayo, garlic, salt and pepper. 

The squash should be sliced thinly lengthwise. Spread the slices in a pan, sprinkle olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper over them and roast at 400 degrees until cooked and starting to brown a little (about 5-6 minutes on each side).  Use the same method for the mushrooms, except they might need a bit longer. Try broiling them for the last few minutes to brown it up.  Meanwhile toast the rolls.  Here’s the spread before we assembled the burgers:


We spread the red pepper mayo on the bottom roll, then the mushroom, squash, basil, and spread the brie on the top.


Jen and I loved the different flavors of these burgers: the red-pepper mayo with balsamic mushroom and squash, and basil and brie were two particularly delicious combinations we noticed!  Portabellos have such a rich meaty flavor that makes them a perfect vegetarian substitute for meat burgers. Paired with the soup this was a vegetable packed meal that was very satisfying (if complicated and a bit time consuming to cook!)  One last photo of me chowing down!


This is probably a once-in-a-long-while kind of meal, but I think it was definitely worth the effort.  Enjoy!!

Megan says: I am so jealous.