Butternut Apple Soup with Cauliflower “Cream” {recipe redux}


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
  • Salt
  • Pepper


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.

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Q: What’s YOUR favorite kitchen gadget? What’s your favorite dish to make with it?


  1. Okay well I obviously need a blendtec. Creamy soup without all the cream?!? Love it. The immersion blender just doesn’t do as good a job.

    The reindeer are so cute!

  2. This sounds wonderful, Jessie!! I wish I could eat cauliflower, because I Would make so many things; pizza crust, soups, mashed cauliflower, etc. It just hurts my stomach. I do LOVE butternut squash soups though, and the addition of cumin makes my mouth water! Yum.
    Favorite kitchen gadget? I would say my coffee maker. Sad. But true.

  3. Okay so this is going to sound insane but I kinda thought reindeer were mythical (I know, nuts!) so it was neat to see they’re real! 🙂 So glad you guys like your Blendtec! I have been contemplating one for a while but could not justify the expense. Good to know it can be used for more than smoothies!

    1. So did I! According to the woman who owns the ranch, reindeer are a type of caribou (?) Whatever, they’re cute 🙂

  4. I’ve never seen reindeer in person before, neat! The closest we get is putting reindeer antlers on our basset hound 🙂 This soups looks delicious! I love finding new ways to use veggies instead of dairy, meat, etc. I use our vitamix every day for a morning smoothie and/or for soup too. Another favorite tool has to be my Shun knife. It’s the only one I use and it cuts like a dream.

    1. We love our Shun knives, too! 🙂

  5. Jessie…how great it is to land here today…with a double bonus…reindeer and warmth from what appears to be a scrumptious looking soup ;o)

    I loved your day out…certainly put a slight spring in my already quick step!

    This seems like a great journey through our festive season.

    Ciao for now,

  6. Jessie, I love the idea of cauliflower cream! The soup looks so rich without the extra calories and fat. You certainly kept it lean. I am anxious to give this a try.

    1. Thanks, Diane! Have a lovely weekend 🙂

    1. Thanks, Dixya! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    1. It’s definitely more of a petting zoo. The ranch is actually a tree farm, and they have a gift shop with knick-knacks and gifts. The reindeer are there because the owners love reindeer (and they’re also good for business 😉 ).

  7. I love love that you started this post with a close up of a reindeer! And even better is that i know about the reindeer ranch that is about an hour from our new house! We moved last week. The soup is a keeper too.

    1. Thanks, Serena! I hope you can get to the reindeer ranch at some point! Have a happy holiday, and let me know if you’re in town and need doughnuts! 🙂

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