Boy, does it feel good to be back in the cafe. Even though I still can't eat most of what we're fixin' (I'm up to a wonderful soft-foods diet), I'll sneak what I can.
First, I have something I can't wait to share with you.
My September release!!!!!
I can't tell you how in love I am with this cover.
The way Love Inspired's artists did the lights in the town add almost a Kincaid-esque feel.
As someone said, makes you want to curl up with a blanket.
Which can mean only one thing. We need soup!
Now y'all know that I've had more soup in the last month than I had all last winter. Cream soup, to be exact. And after a while, that canned stuff just got old. So as soon as I was feeling well enough to cook, I determined to make my own soup. Something creamy, with no chunks.
Then I remembered having this amazing butternut squash soup at an ACFW Conference. Thus began my quest for a recipe, ending with a lovely Roasted Butternut Squash recipe. I mean, if there's one thing we've learned here at the cafe, it's how yummy those roasted vegetables are.
Here's what you're going to need:
- 4 lbs (about 2 medium) butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium Granny Smith apple
- 1/2 medium yellow onion
- 8 fresh sage leaves (or 1/2 tsp rubbed sage)
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth (yes, Kav, this is a recipe for you!)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
- 1/3 heavy cream
Heat oven to 425 degrees and arrange rack in middle of oven.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the squash halves cut side up.
Brush with one tablespoon melted butter and season generously with salt and pepper.
Roast until tender, about 50-60 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel, core and cut the apple into a medium dice. Dice the onion. Melt remaining butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple, onion, sage, and season with salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and set aside.
When the squash is ready...
Set baking sheet on a wire rack until the squash in cool enough to handle.
Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the Dutch oven with the sauteed apples and onions. Discard skins.
Add the broth, water and measured salt and pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, breaking up any large pieces of squash.
Remove pan from heat and stir in the cream.
Using a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth.
You can also use an immersion blender.
Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Y'all, this was the most flavorful meal I'd had in weeks. And because of the fiber in the squash, the most filling. Which mean I was able to eat about a half a cup.
But think of how yummy this would be on a cold autumn night. Which is why I froze half of what I made.
I'm avoiding soup for a while now. Opting instead for things like oatmeal, scrambled eggs, yogurt and, of course, my Trim Healthy Mama smoothies. I've even been able to have some dark meat chicken, so long as it's chopped very fine. That'll carry me to the end of June, but I'm just grateful to be able to chew again. It really is those little things in life that make us happy. :)
But every cloud has a silver lining, right?
My silver lining is that I've lost 15 pounds. However, I don't recommend the liquid diet plan.