Sunday, October 2, 2016

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup and Other Fall Favorites

Ahhh fall. One of my favorite times of the year here in Michigan. I know it doesn't last long and soon we will be in winter, but for now I am going to enjoy the leaves changing, the cider and donuts, the weather that only requires a sweatshirt and all the other "fall" activities. We went apple picking earlier this year, which meant we got to have all the honey crisp apples we wanted... what are honey crisp? Only one of my favorite eating apples that is soooo expensive in the store. Although my grandma made pies and applesauce with macintosh, honey crisp in my lunch has been such a treat. Charlie has a blast taking a bite of every apple she found and running through the rows of trees. Childhood memories at their finest. I couldn't be happier. 

I recently attended a friend's babyshower which inspired this recipe because they served soup and sandwiches and the one soup was so delicious I just had to try and copy it. Picking out her present before the shower also got me excited for my own little one. I don't have a lot from Charlie because I left it all with Charlie's dad. And by don't have a lot I mean I have nothing... none of the swings, seats, high chairs, blankets, burp clothes... nothing. But we will get stuff slowly but surely and now that I am feeling like myself again the excitement that didn't happen much with Charlie due to sickness is a good feeling. My workouts are back on track and I am ready to get my diet back. This soup turned out better than I thought...and there is not a lot more fall than using squash in soup. Not to mention since it is in season it is cheaper!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

- 1 Medium Butternut Squash (about 2.5lbs), peeled and cubed 
- 2 Apples, peeled and diced
- 1/2 Sweet Onion, chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 2 tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
- 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1/2 Cup Pureed Pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 3.5-4 Cups Chicken Stock (or vegetable)
- Salt and Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Peel and cube the squash. Place on a cookie sheet with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast 20-25 minutes. 

2. While the squash is roasting, prep the rest of the vegetables. 

When the squash has about 8 minutes left, heat some olive oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven. Add the onion, garlic, apple, and ginger. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute until the squash is ready and the onions are translucent and the apple is breaking down. 

3. Add the squash, 3.5 cups of stock, pumpkin and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 20 minutes or so. 

4. Depending on how you like the texture of your soup, use an immersion blender right in the pot and puree the soup until your desired consistency. If you like a smoother soup, puree it in batches in a blender. Taste for salt and pepper. Add the extra 1/2 cup of stock if it seems too thick. 

Since you have extra pumpkin in the can you opened for the soup, here is another idea!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

- 1/2 Frozen Banana
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree
- 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Honey (optional)
- 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder (optional)

1. In a high-powered blender, blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Top with a bit of whipped cream, more pumpkin pie spice, or a dash of cinnamon. 

We also made pie like my grandma... no measuring required :) 

and applesauce to go with pork chops. 

 no blender, I like the chunks :) 

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