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

 

 

 

Day 2: Glazed Acorn Squash

I grew up eating squash, what I thought was squash.

You know, the yellow stuff that is available in the grocery store year-round. It’s delicious, versatile and affordable. However, I am learning that it’s a small blip in a family of Cucurbitas, which includes all pumpkins, squashes and gourds. I still have a lot to learn, but trying new fall veggies is a fun challenge, especially to cook with them when you’ve never heard of them before! It’s fun, and I’m finding that living here in Portland means more affordable fall veggies, since they don’t have to be transported thousands of miles and such.

Let’s get started with Acorn Squash. This one is pretty common in our grocery stores around the country, and they’re fairly affordable ($1 each right now). I’ve had this as a soup and roasted, but I think that’s it. Let’s try a glazed approach.

Glazed Acorn Squash
This squash is almost too simple to make. With just a few ingredients and about 30 minutes, you can make a beautiful side dish that is healthy, sweet and creamy. Embrace your inner Fall-lover.
4 servings (if you care to share)

2 acorn squash 
1 TB vegetable or coconut oil
1/3 cup brown sugar (dark or light)
Salt and pepper
sheet of foil

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil, and brush the oil onto the foil.
2. Carefully half the squashes, seed them with a spoon, and slice the squashes into 1-inch thick rounds. Lay the rounds onto the oiled foil.
3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and half of the brown sugar. Bake for 5 minutes, so sugar can melt. Then, flip the pieces over with tongs and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the remaining brown sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, or until tender. Serve piping hot.
  
 
(Bonus: Rinse the seeds off, pat them dry with a towel, and lay flat on the cookie sheet. Salt and pepper them and let roast with the squash -about 20 minutes- for a crunchy, nutty snack!)


Adapted from:
Martha

Happy eating!
Laurel

~Laurel~

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

I have wanted to make spaghetti squash for a long time, years even. The idea of a pasta substitute inside a gourd? Alright!

Since I had no idea what I was doing, I went to Martha for help. It’s a good thing.

Out of the oven, turned over

After scraping it with a fork…turns to spaghetti…magic!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash
Barely adapted from Martha
4 servings
1 spaghetti squash (3 or so pounds), halved lengthwise, seeds removed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 1/2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1 TB dried parsley
1 TB dried cilantro
1/4 cup toasted almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush cut sides of squash with oil, and sprinkle with sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Place squash, cut sides down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, 45-50 minutes. Let cool slightly on the sheet for 10 minutes.
  2. Scrape squash with a fork to remove flesh in long strands. (This is so fun!) Place in a large bowl. Add oil, Parmesan, parsley, cilantro, hazelnuts, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Toss, and serve immediately.

Notes: This is NOT filling on its own. It might work topped with marinara sauce, but some shrimp or chicken or something is def needed on the side! Just thought I should share. I made the mistake of taking a to-go bowl of the squash to work for lunch…and was hungry an hour later! Learn from my mistakes…and then smile because you are a little smarter. 🙂

Happy eating!
Laurel

~Laurel~

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