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Butternut squash, roasted and blended into a creamy soup, is what’s on deck for this week’s “4PM Panic” post to help avoid that last-minute scramble to put something on the dinner table. Packed with vitamin A, this powerful anti-oxidant recipe is low in calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. The biggest bonus is that it tastes great!
Butternut squash has a creamy quality when roasted that gives recipes a creamy consistency without the addition of fatty dairy products. On top, pumpkin seeds and pistachios add a crunchy and delicious element to the soup. They are higher in calories so you can skip them if you’re counting, but the calories come mostly from proteins and fat that help lower bad LDL cholesterol and help increase good HDL cholesterol.
Mid-January in the Midwest seems to lend itself well to indoor living, roaring fires and SOUP! Yet, with January almost at an end, there seems to be a light at the end of winter’s tunnel. It’s still pretty faint but I can see it. Spring can’t be that far off. So, with the hope of warm days, not bundled under layers of wool and down, focusing on good health seems to be the right course of action.
What can I do now so that when I shed these layers my best self emerges? Wow, if that were an easy answer I would be the most popular girl on the planet. Sorry, no quick fix, just good choices day by day and a continued effort toward good health. In our house, it starts in the kitchen with good ingredients. Don’t be fooled into thinking I’m any kind of authority on health. I’m in a constant struggle with my weight. My age is slowing every effort to a snail’s pace and I love food that is not good for me. Today, we had an amazingly delicious dinner of butternut squash soup topped with Greek yogurt, pumpkin seeds and pistachios then later we had Heinen’s frosted chocolate brownies that they call their “Picnic Brownies” (hands down the best brownie I’ve ever eaten) topped with Jeni’s Brown Butter Almond Brittle ice cream. We used to have to go all the way into Chicago to enjoy Jeni’s ice cream but hooooooray Heinen’s carries it! Ok, I’ve completely diverted from my healthy soup post. The point is that balance is also important.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 large butternut squash peeled and cut into dice size pieces.
(Luckily Heinen’s sells it already cut for you)
- 1 apple cored and cut into quarters
- 3 cups of chicken stock plus extra for adjusting consistency.
- 1/2 cup sherry cooking wine
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- Fresh sage or fresh thyme (whichever flavor you prefer, today we used sage)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 crushed pistachios
- Preheat oven to 400°
- On a parchment-lined cooking sheet place cut squash and apples. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Toss to evenly coat.
- Place cooking sheet into hot oven and roast until tender about 20 minutes.
- In a blender or Vitamix add chicken stock, sherry wine, chopped fresh sage, cooked squash and apples.
- No need to cook any further. The centrifugal force of the Vitamix will further heat the soup.
- Blend on high until the soup is a creamy consistency. You may need to add a bit more stock.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, top with yogurt, seeds and pistachios.