Greetings, dear reader! I meant to post this recipe at my usual time – around midday – but, then THIS happened:
What’s that, you say? Why, it’s a real reindeer, living right here in Illinois!
Peter and I took the afternoon off and visited Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul, IL. Some friends mentioned how cute the reindeer were, so I knew I had to take a look.
This guy was friendly, especially to the little kiddle in blue plaid who kept slipping him graham crackers.
My “up close and personal” moment:
This reindeer slobbered the front of my coat like Maddie does if I have something remotely edible in my pocket.
So, that’s my excuse for not posting at my usual time … reindeer. Try using THAT excuse next time you’re late for something.
For today’s recipe, I share with you this month’s Recipe Redux:
We want to hear about your favorite kitchen gadget/appliance. Share about your favorite kitchen tool (be it a rolling pin or a KitchenAid mixer) and favorite recipe you prepare using the kitchen gadget.
One of my favorite appliances is a workhorse in our kitchen. We use it 2 to 3 times per day and it has NEVER let us down.
Yes, ladies and gentlefolk: we love our Blendtec. It’s not just a blender – it’s a fifth member of our family. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I have a protein- and nutrient-packed smoothie for breakfast nearly every morning. The smoothies were actually Peter’s idea – I know, right? I’ve taught my husband well.
One of the best aspects of a Blendtec is its souped-up blending power, which is perfect for making … soup! The Blendtec’s “Soup” programmed setting yields the lightest, fluffiest, creamiest soup I’ve ever had the privilege of slurping. Bonus: there’s no need to add butter or cream to Blendtec soups, thus automatically making the soup that much healthier.
One of the easiest ways to make a light, creamy soup without all the extra calories is to use root vegetables and/or winter squash. In this Butternut Apple Soup recipe, I use both.
The soup is topped with cauliflower “cream” for extra creamy texture and roasted apple for tartness.
Butternut Apple Soup with Cauliflower “Cream”
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Keywords: soup/stew vegetarian sweet potatoes butternut squash
Ingredients (4 servings)
- 1 butternut squash, cut in half and seeds removed
- 1 medium sweet potato, quartered
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 head cauliflower chopped
- 1/4 cup skim milk
- 1 firm tart apples, such as Granny Smith
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sweet curry powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon black cumin, ground
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lay butternut squash and sweet potato on baking sheet and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, or until soft. Set aside. When cool enough to handle, scoop butternut squash from the skin and discard skin.
While squash and potatoes roast, steam cauliflower for 25 minutes, or until tender. Set aside.
When the squash and potatoes have 15 minutes left, chop apples into 1/2 inch pieces and lay on roasting pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until pale brown.
In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and saute for 5 minutes. Add curry powder, coriander, and cumin, and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and stir in butternut squash, sweet potato, and 1/2 the roasted apples.
Transfer the soup to a blender (in batches if necessary) and puree until smooth. Transfer to saucepan on stove to keep warm. Add salt and pepper to taste. Clean blender jug, then add cauliflower and skim milk. Puree until smooth.
Pour squash soup into four bowls and drizzle the cauliflower “cream” on top. Divide the remaining roasted apples among the bowls and serve immediately.
Q: What’s YOUR favorite kitchen gadget? What’s your favorite dish to make with it?