Sweet Butternut Squash Soup

As I was cooking this butternut squash soup for dinner, McKenzie said, “Oh boy, that smells so good my nose can’t resist it.” One: I’m not sure she can get much cuter. And two: it really is that good. I adapted this recipe from Liz @ The Lambent Life, who has such a fun blog! I say adapted because I use nearly all the same ingredients, but I added a few more spices…namely cinnamon and sugar. God knows I have a sweet-tooth! And hey, my four-year-old’s nose couldn’t resist it, so you know it must be good. ;)

Sweet Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2½ lbs), peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 large apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 packets chicken stock powder
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (in addition to the cinnamon sticks! This makes it.)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp celery seeds
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cayenne powder

In a stockpot, add chopped onion, apple, and squash. Fill pot with water so the ingredients about ¾ submerged. Bring water to a boil, stir in spices and the rest of the ingredients. Reduce to a low boil and cover. Cook until vegetables are soft, approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Veggies/apples should be completely submerged at this point. Using a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches (you might not want to use all the broth from the pot, or the soup might be too runny…use your judgement). Return to pot. Keep warm until ready to serve. Garnish with cinnamon. Enjoy!

**If you’re looking for a more savory soup (instead of sweet), omit the brown sugar, and instead add a splash of cooking sherry and about a tablespoon of garlic. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Advertisements

Seasonal Salads

I’m not a huge salad person…BUT these salads are amazing! I found them in the most recent Redbook issue and decided to try them. Let me tell you: they are delicious! Not traditional salads, but tasty nevertheless.

 

Lentil Salad with Provençal Pear & Gorgonzola

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes

Lentils

  • 1 cup Puy (green) lentils
  • 1 small carrot, quartered
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

Dressing

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper Pears
  • 2 firm-ripe Bosc pears, quartered lengthwise
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp packed brown sugar
  • 3 oz Roquefort or Gorgonzola cheese, coarsely crumbled

1. Lentils: Rinse lentils with cold water. Tie carrot, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf in a bundle with string. Place lentils, bundle, garlic, and salt in a medium saucepan and cover with 4 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, 25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain, and discard bundle and garlic.

2. Dressing: In a small glass measuring cup, whisk together all ingredients. While lentils are hot, toss with dressing in a large bowl.

3. Pears: Core pears and cut each quarter in half, lengthwise.

4. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pears and sprinkle with brown sugar. Sauté on both sides until golden and slightly caramelized, 5 minutes.

5. Place lentils on a large platter. Arrange pears on top and sprinkle with Roquefort. Serve immediately. Personally, I think the pears make the salad! It’s an interesting combo of sweet/bitter.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving: 424 cal, 23 g fat, 16 g protein, 42 g carb.

 

Butternut Squash Salad with Tahini Dressing

Prep time: 25 minutes | Cooking time: 35 minutes

Salad

  • 1 butternut squash (2 lbs), peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks…(for me, peeling the squash took forever!)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 8 cups baby arugula
  • ⅓ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 4 oz Feta cheese, coarsely crumbled

Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

1. Heat oven to 375°F.

2. Salad: On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss squash, oil, paprika, salt, and pepper and spread out evenly. Roast 35 minutes, stirring halfway through, until squash is tender and starting to caramelize. Sprinkle squash with pumpkin seeds for the last 5 minutes of roasting.

3. Dressing: In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Whisk in 2 Tbsp boiling water.

4. In a large bowl, gently toss squash, arugula, parsley, raisins, and Feta cheese. Arrange on a platter. Drizzle dressing over salad.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving: 338 cal, 21 g fat, 9 g protein, 34 g carb.

I hope you enjoy these recipes! I, personally, love the Butternut Squash Salad. I’ve decided that I like to omit the feta and arugula for a simple, yet tasty, butternut squash medley. I think the raisins make it! Oh, and the candied pears on the Lentil Salad are wonderful…I might have to make them by themselves for desert sometime. =)