This roasted butternut squash soup just nails it. It’s basically pureed squash and chicken (or veggie) broth, some added vegetables, spices and a splash of heavy cream. I think it would be great for kids, or even baby food, minus the heavy cream and spices. That bit of info, for me however, is filed away under “for future reference”, at least for the time being. :]
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP (makes a giant pot of soup that freezes really well, too)
– 2 large butternut squash (squashes??)
– 2 celery stalks, chopped
– 2 carrots, chopped
– 1 vidalia onion, diced
– 6 cups chicken broth (this will depend on the height of your squash, though. I’d buy 64 oz. of chicken broth just to be safe)
– 1 T. butter
– 1 T. EVOO
– Splash of heavy cream, or up to 1/4 c. to taste
– Kosher Salt
– White pepper (this blends into the soup nicely)
– Freshly grated nutmeg
– 8-10 sage leaves, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Pierce each squash with a fork or skewer a few times. Cut each squash in half, length-wise, and scoop out the seeds and stringy things at the bottom of the squash. Rub with a couple of drops of olive oil, then roast, cut-side down, for approx. 30 – 45 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
3. In your soup pot (I cannot say enough great things about Le Creuset ), heat 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil over medium high heat. Add chopped onion, celery, and carrot, saute for 10 minutes or until soft. You want these to “sweat”, not brown, so make sure you give them some room, and salt them with some Kosher salt to draw out as much water as possible.
|Look at this Farmers’ Market celery!!! Unbelievable.|
3. When squash is cool enough to handle, peel off the skin. This should come right off, but cut away anything that remains. Roughly chop the roasted squash into chunks.
4. Add squash to the onion/celery/carrot mixture. Add chopped sage and approx. 1 T. of Kosher salt. Add chicken (or vegetable) stock until it just covers the squash in the pot.
5. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
6. After an hour, use an immersion blender to puree the soup into a creamy consistency. Breville makes great immersion blenders, and we are definitely registering for one, since the one I use (all the time) I won during a “Yankee Swap” at my very first job out of college at MSPCC. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender. Just make sure the soup is cool, because if it’s hot, it could explode in your blender (really).
7. Season to taste with nutmeg, white pepper, Kosher salt. Swirl in heavy cream for some richness.
— This soup will continue to blend the flavors, so when you think you’re “almost there” with the spices, STOP. It’ll come together perfectly in a couple of hours! You can even throw this together the night before, then reheat for dinner or lunch the next day to get that perfect flavor combination.
|Mom’s minestrone soup = love|
These turkey taco lettuce wraps, from the very first time I made them, got added to the rotation immediately. They are incredibly healthy: you make your own taco seasoning, so you avoid all the preservatives and bad things in the grocery store seasonings, the lettuce wrap completely eliminates the corn taco you would otherwise use, and if you use the guacamole recipe from a couple days ago, you get the added bonus of the avocado health benefits.
Also, this is fun to eat! It’s a little messy but so worth it. If you’re having trouble with the lettuce wraps, you can always shred the lettuce and put the turkey and toppings over it like a turkey taco salad.
TURKEY TACO LETTUCE WRAPS (adapted from Skinny Taste)
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
– 2 lbs. ground turkey
– 1/2 vidalia onion, minced
– 1/2 yellow, orange, or red bell pepper, minced
– 8 oz. tomato sauce
– 1/4 c. water
– Any kind of lettuce for the wraps – boston bibb works well, as does iceberg or romaine (seen here)
– 2 tsp. garlic powder
– 2 tsp. cumin
– 2 tsp. salt
– 2 tsp. paprika
– 1 tsp. chili powder
– 1 tsp. oregano
1. Mix ingredients for taco seasoning, adjusting to your preference (if you like it a little hotter, double the chili powder), and set aside.
2. Over medium high heat, brown the turkey.
So we’ve talked about my avocado obsession, right? I could eat them all day long. Not only are they delicious, but they’re so good for you, and there are a million articles about how they promote heart health, blood sugar regulation, even anti-cancer benefits! Also, according to this site, the avocado is “colloquially known as the Alligator Pear, reflecting its shape and the leather-like appearance of its skin.”, which totally makes sense. Ha. The Alligator Pear.
Anyway, this guacamole recipe is super easy and perfect with Pretzel Crisps, which we should basically buy stock in at this point, because we go through so many of them on a weekly basis. It’s also a great topper for turkey tacos, which are up next.
(serves 4 regular people, or 2 people who live in this house and really love guacamole)
4-5 cherry tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 of a large vidalia onion, diced
cilantro (approx. 2-3 tablespoons)
juice of 1 lime
kosher salt to taste
1. Peel and dice the avocados. I’ve found that an easy way to do this is right in the avocado half itself (see the dice in the avocado half in the picture above?). Then just run a knife around the edge and the diced pieces should kind of just squeeze out into the bowl. Mash this gently with a fork. As you add the other ingredients, the avocado will continue to get smoother, so it depends on how chunky you like your guac.
2. Add the lime juice (this will also prevent the avocado from browning) and the kosher salt, so the salt can kind of blend with the acid in the lime juice.
3. Add the diced tomato and onion (try to make these pieces the same size) and cilantro, mix everything together. Adjust seasonings and enjoy!