Do you ever get sidetracked by perfectionism?
You know, you say to yourself, "My family's not going to eat any processed foods." So you go to Whole Foods and fill your shopping cart with colorful organic fruits and vegetables and free range chicken and bulk quinoa and you envision this bounty of healthful eating. Then all of a sudden it's 2:30 and you have to pick the kids up from school and drop one off at ballet and quiz the next one for her spelling test and then pick the son up from basketball and then go back to ballet to pick up the daughter and then, in an instant, you realize that it's 6:30 and you have nothing cooked for dinner. In desperation, (and amongst hungry cries of MOM, I'M STARVING!) instead of serving something semi-convenient that was moderately tasty and healthy, you end up serving a frozen cheese pizza and a can of green beans?
That doesn't happen to you?
Well, Sunday, while my husband was busy being the "Fun Dad", taking the kids to the park and fishing, I decided to stay home and cook through all the good intentions that were staring at me from the refrigerator.
The first recipe I tried was this Roasted Squash and Apple Soup. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to make. The oven does all the work for you!
Simply chop up all your ingredients, toss with oil and kosher salt, and roast until they look like this.
You can smell the delicious caramelization process happening.
You feel euphoric because your healthy intentions are now being realized.
Next, stop what you are doing and give your remaining daughter a break from her book report and take her to the park. Make sure you come home after dark so that you can't take any more food pictures!
When you return, put half of the vegetables and the chicken stock in a blender and blend away.
Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Save out one bowl of delicious soup so you can take a picture of it when there is light.
This soup is fresh food at its finest. As the soup hits your tongue you can taste the sweetness of the squash and then the apples. The bite finishes with the savory taste of caramelized onions. Add chili powder or cumin if you'd like, but I thought this was delicious all on its own.
Roasted Winter Squash and Apple Soup
Adapted from Dr. Andrew Weil's book "The Healthy Kitchen"
1 large winter squash (about 2 1/2 pounds) such as butternut, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Chili powder, cumin or smoked paprika for seasoning (optional)
4 cups Chicken Stock
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large roasting pan, toss squash, onions, garlic and apples with oil to coat. Season well with kosher salt and other seasonings, if using. Roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until vegetables are fork-tender and lightly browned, about 40 minutes.
Transfer half the vegetables and two cups of the stock to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Repeat with remaining vegetables and broth.
Return pureed mixture to pot, thinning soup with stock if necessary. Season with salt and seasonings. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Serve immediately. Garnish with Greek Yogurt and Pepitos.
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