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

 

 

 

Cinnamon Candy Apples

Who doesn’t love a nice caramel apple sometimes?

Halloween has come and gone, but the apples are still plentiful. And Christmas season is coming to an end (tell that to every retailer, heh), but does cinnamon ever really go out of season? I think not.
Granted, the three most used words on this blog are “easy,” “banana,” and one more…you guessed it…CINNAMON. Ah, cinnamon. I find any excuse to sneak it into a recipe. Mostly in breakfast dishes and baked goods, but sometimes an entree or hearty sauce, too! And why not just out there, in plain sight, coating an apple?
Cinnamon Candy Apples

Using cinnamon hard candies makes this treat a snap to make, plus the cinnamon soaks into the top layer of the apple flesh. Yum.

You’ll need:

Parchment paper or a silicone baking liner
4 apples
4 skewers or Popsicle sticks

1 1/3 cup cinnamon hard candies (unwrapped!)
2 TB light corn syrup
Cooking spray
Spoon

Prep: Lay out a sheet of parchment paper sprayed with nonstick spray or a baking liner on the counter. Carefully insert a skewer or popsicle stick into each apple. 

Step 1: Spray a small pot with cooking spray and toss in the cinnamon hard candies. Stir in the light corn syrup.

Step 2: Heat over low-medium heat until mixture is bubbly and the candies are melted.

Step 3: Quickly dip each apple into the cinnamon mixture to coat. Use a spoon to coat each apple entirely. Immediately place the apples on the wax paper and let cool for 30 minutes. The coating will turn back to its hard candy form…take care not to break a tooth while devouring the spices-y awesomity!

~Laurel~

Day 3: Ginger Orange Apples

Ginger Orange Apples
Apples…who doesn’t love ’em? With a hint of citrus and ginger, these stewed apples are simple and delicious. Serve as a side or on top of ice cream (pie filling). This makes plenty to share.

8 apples
1/4 cup crystallized ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
4 TB light brown sugar
1 1/3 cups orange juice
Dash of nutmeg

Step One:
Peel apples and slice into bite-sized chunks. Turn slow cooker to Low. Add apples and the rest of the ingredients and stir. Replace the lid and let cook for 2-3 hours, until apples are tender but not falling apart. Stir occasionally.

Step Two:
Serve warm or cold, but store in the fridge. 🙂

Our new Crock Pot with fall owls on it. 🙂

Happy eating!
Laurel

~Laurel~

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