Butternut Squash Soup

Oh, this soup.

5 ingredients + spices + water.

1 hour, 15 minutes.

That’s it. And it’s thick and tasty and even enjoyed by a squash-hater (Dad). And it’s healthy and inexpensive and stretches. And you can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. (You might think I’m talking pancakes, but I’m not!) Gluten-free, vegan and very awesome. Let’s make this magical concoction.

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Butternut Squash Soup

Creamy, piping hot, and full of flavor, this healthy soup provides your body with fiber, potassium, carotenoids and antioxidants. This means a healthier heart, cancer fighters, and healthy nervous and immune systems. It’s a power food with the consistency of buttery happiness and the color of a sunset. It’s all good. And super easy to make and eat this awesome soup. Don’t focus on the healthy and be mesmerized by the awesomity of this power house meal. Serve with crusty bread, a salad or even a potato on the side for the ultimate warmth on a winter day.

8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 butternut squash (4 pounds total-ish)
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cups carrots
  • 4 cups water (or 2 cups stock and 2 cups water)
  • 2 cups milk (I used almond)
  • Spices: 2 TB olive oil, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, few dashes pepper, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of each: ginger & cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon of each: nutmeg, cloves.

Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with a nonstick baking mat, parchment, foil or just spray. Peel and chop squash into 1-inch chunks (-ish). Chop apple, onion and carrots into bite-sized chunks, too.
  • In a large bowl, toss veggies/fruit chunks into olive oil and spices until coated. (I had to do this in 2 batches.) Then, spread the chunks out on the baking sheets as one layer (evenly roasts this way). Roast for 35 minutes, or until cooked through and browning on edges.
  • In a large pot, add water and all roasted veggies. Heat on high until bubbling. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Option 1: If you have an immersion blender: blend mixture together until desired consistency. Garnish with cinnamon and toasted seeds and enjoy!
  • Option 2: If you have a regular blender: Add half of liquid and half of veggies to your blender and blend until desired consistency. Transfer blended mixture to a large bowl. Repeat blending with remaining ingredients and transfer to the bowl or pot. Garnish with toasted seeds and cinnamon and enjoy!
  • Note: If you prefer a “runny” soup, add more water or milk and let simmer longer. Also, rinse and roast the seeds with a little olive oil and salt for 15 minutes, for a fun topping.
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Chopped.

Roasted.

Roasted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will definitely make this again. Definitely. Now to convert my husband to loving squash…and thanks to you all reading my 300th blog post. Wow, that’s crazy.

-Laurel

 

 

 

Guess Who’s Back

Back again. Guess who’s back. Tell a friend.

Yes, I just quoted Eminem. It seemed appropriate…candy names, Halloween and all.

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HELLO! I am not back from the dead, although it kinda seems like it around here. I took a pause…to work a bunch, to eat a bunch and, of course, to cook a bunch! What has changed?

The Changes

  • I’m a little healthier {I only ate 3 giant muffins this week and am no longer scared of a treadmill…sorta.}
  • I drink more water {not sure why I told you that}
  • My job title has changed twice {yes, twice in one week, actually}
  • I have a new fire for cooking and sharing with you {I’ve got to start blogging again because I almost blew up the microwave yesterday}

October is almost over, and there are 6 beautiful cans of pumpkin puree in my pantry, beckoning to be molded into a decadent, delicious creation. I have an assortment of organic squash and such to go crazy with, too. And, if you’ve poked around this space at all, I love to take a recipe (or 4 or 5) and merge them and healthify them, based on which ingredients are already in my kitchen. This pumpkin bar is a lazy woman’s approach to a traditional pumpkin pie. And I love all of that delicious, sweet filling but the store-bought crusts leave much to be desired. The shortbread crust and the nutty taste throughout more than make up for the quick, tastier version of a pie. Let’s go!

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Nutty Pumpkin Bars

Sitting on an almond shortbread crust, these Fall treats are sure to please even your nuttiest neighbors and loved ones during the season. Serve warm with English breakfast tea or chilled for a sweet snack. The best part? All original needs for cream are replaced with Coconut Almond milk, which gives an essence of tropical coconut to an already complex, warm pumpkin flavor. Party on your tongue! And, not, there not much to look at, but my job is making tasty stuff. You can pipe some buttercream or cream cheese frosting on them for pretty effect, if you like!

Makes 18 cupcake-sized bars or one 9X13 pan

Almond Shortbread:

1/2 cup almond slivers

1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup (110 grams) light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Step One: Line/grease 18 muffin cups or a 9X13 pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, chop the almonds to a ground meal, then add flour and salt and blend. Set aside.

Step Two: In a mixer (or using your hand and a spoon), cream butter and brown sugar for 2-3 minutes, or until fluffy. Add vanilla and blend. Then, add flour mixture and blend into a dough.

Step Three: Press dough into bottom of muffin cups or baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until semi-firm to the touch like a soft cookie (not doughy). While waiting for it to bake, make the pumpkin filling.

Pumpkin Filling:

2 large eggs

1 – 15 ounce can (425 grams) pure pumpkin (2 cups)

3/4 cup (165 grams) light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups (360 ml) coconut almond milk

Step Four: In the mixer, blend eggs. Add pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, and all spices and mix until blended. Lastly, add the milk and blend until smooth.

Step Five: When the shortbread is semi-firm, distribute pumpkin filling into the cups (3/4 full). Bake for 20 minutes, or until tops are slightly golden and pumpkin is firm to the touch (not runny or jiggly). Let cool for 5 minutes before running knife around the edges before removing from the pan(s).

Serve warm or chilled. Ice cream on top doesn’t hurt a thing.

Adapted from Source: Joy of Baking

HAPPY HALLOWEEK, LOVELIES!

~Laurel

Club Apple

There’s a Boil Water alert for all of Portland today. Who wants to get sick on the verge of Memorial Day Weekend?

So I take this stuff seriously. But, really, who wants to go to all of the trouble to boil water just because we are thirsty? (Ok, bratty US resident coming out.) Even still, what is something quick and chilly (not boiling) that I can drink now, at noon on a Friday? Club Apple!

Club Apple!

Club Apple!

Club Apple
Tall glass (yes, I own a few, hee)
3 ice cubes
1/4 cup apple cider
1 cup club soda
1/4 apple, diced

Over ice, pour the cider and soda. (I still have homemade cider around.) Top with apple bits for a refreshing (no need to boil!) daytime drink! Minimal sugar and happy-ness involved!

Happy weekend! Many thanks to all those that sacrificed everything so that I have the freedom to speak, blog, love, dream and worship here, in this beautiful land. Happy Memorial Day.

-Laurel

Past Munchies

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