Thursday, September 26

Roasted Autumn Squash Soup

It's harvest time around here.  While I'm loving the chill in the air and bluest of blue skies, the colors of the plants are my love language.

I'm a huge proponent of eating good food.  Not only good tasting food, but good-for-you food.  There is something to be appreciated about raising and growing your own food, then transforming it into something delicious.  And as a wife and mom, I am constantly thinking of every bite of food my family puts into their body. It's no light task, either.  Of course my child loves all things sweet, and it's not that I don't indulge alongside her at times (salted caramel ice cream, salted caramel anything?!!), but it's the exception.  The child is equally happy with an apple or a lollipop- we eat a lot of apples around here ;)

This "I'm too busy" world we live in resorts to precooked, prepackaged, preserved filth far too often. I work in medicine and I hear it all the time-- "I'm too busy to made homemade meals", "it's easier to get take out", "it's cheaper to eat out" (this one is another story for another day- yes I know McDonald's has a dollar menu, but it is not cheaper to feed a family at McDonald's.  Rice and beans.  Rant over.).  I try to have something healthy for my family to eat when I work- if that means making ahead and freezing/canning/storing, then that's what I do.  And I'm not an expert, and yes my family does occasionally eat out, but I'm referring to everyday, each week, the majority.  We have a homemade muffin or granola bar in place of a pop tart. A double batch of soup refrigerated in place of stuff from a can. It's definitely not impossible and it's definitely more economical.  I think it makes a world of difference.

To get started, roast up some autumn vegetables and purée with  other great ingredients for several meals worth of seriously good-for-you soup!  This will be my family's meal while I finish up my week with two more 12 hour shifts :/  At least I know they're eating well!


Roasted Autumn Squash Soup

1 large butternut squash
1 acorn squash 
1 small pie pumpkin (or 1 cup canned pumpkin)
2 large sweet potatoes
1 onion 
2 apples (I had red delicious on hand)
3-4 stalks celery
3-4 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste 
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 quarts vegetable or chicken stock
1 cinnamon stick
1 tblsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1-2 cups low fat milk

Preheat oven to 400F. Clean and dice vegetables. I'm not sure if I'm just not tough, but cutting winter squashes is hard work! I opted to leave skins on squash and remove them after roasting, it made my life easier :) 


Coat vegetables in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 min- 1 hour, until caramelized and tender, turning vegetables about half way through. 

When vegetables are done, add stock and spices/cinnamon stick to soup pot over medium low heat.  Add roasted vegetables, removing squash skins first. Bring to boil (this will be a thick mixture), and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes. 


When vegetables are soft, remove cinnamon stick, add milk and maple syrup.  Purée soup (I used immersion blender) in batches in blender, adding more milk (or cream, if you're feeling decadent) to achieve desired consistency. Sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds and serve warm.


Side note: I used this as a sauce on pasta once with some ricotta, Parmesan and fresh sage- delicious!

I've been holding back on using recipes due to my lack of DSLR.  However, since I have been following Annapolis and Co. and her awesome Instagram tutorial #theeverydayproject, I have learned so much about using my iphone for photography, especially food photography.  Big, big thanks @annapolisandcompany.

I can't wait to pick some more squash and try out some other recipes.  
Next on the list: a warm fall salad with squash a millet!

Enjoy this season.


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