Vegetarian Challenge Day 1: Spiced Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

I started my 2-week vegetarian challenge yesterday! I’ll be posting one recipe from the previous day’s menu to share with you all that meets all the requirements of the challenge. There will be a quick log of what I ate (so you know that I’m not cheating) and then I’ll get to the good stuff! Honestly, who wants to spend any time reading someone’s food journal? Not many people, so I’ll keep it short and sweet (or salty)…that was a bad joke…I apologize.

DAY 1

Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs with chives, Morningstar Farms “sausage” patties (my husband and I love these!), and toast with jam.

Lunch:
Strawberry/Banana Smoothie made with blood orange Greek yogurt, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chips & bean dip.

Snack:
Leftover Halloween candy.

Dinner:
Spiced apple and butternut squash soup, side salad with Italian dressing, and French bread washed down with a glass of chardonnay.

Spiced Apple & Butternut Squash Soup

This recipe was in with a bunch of coupons that were sent to me by our local grocery store.

Let me just start off by saying that this recipe makes A LOT OF SOUP!! The directions say to use a large pot, but it really means to use a giant soup pot which I do not own, so I ended up cooking it in the two largest pots that I do own. Okay here it is:

1/4 Cup unsalted butter
2 Large onions, diced
2 Large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 Tsp. nutmeg, groun
1/2 Tsp. allspice, ground
1/2 Tsp. cinnamon, ground
4 Butternut squashes, peeled, halved lengthwise and seeds removed, diced into 1-inch cubes
3 Qts. Chicken stock (which I replaced with Vegetable stock!)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onions and apples and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the spices, cook for 1 minute, and then add the squash and stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until the squash is tender, about 20-30 minutes.

Puree and serve. Add additional stock, if necessary, to desired thickness. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Refrigerate any leftovers.

My notes:

Knowing that was going to be doing this challenge, I made this particular recipe ahead of time. And it made a crazy amount of soup. A big chunk of this whole process is chopping ingredients. Peeling, cutting, and dicing FOUR butternut squashes is hell-a difficult. It took 2 people close to an hour to finish just that part of the recipe, so if you can get them pre-cut at the store, save yourself the blister and buy it! 

In the end, the soup had very little seasoning to it. You could probably drop to 2 squashes and keep everything else the same and it would be a lot more flavorful. I ended up adding additional allspice, cinnamon AND nutmeg, but there was still something missing and I think I’ve figured out what it needs: Brown sugar and cumin. I put about a 1/2 Tbl and a couple dashes of cumin in every bowl I reheat and it is spot on.

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Categories: Healthy Livin', Lady Talk Forum, The Spread (Food), Welcome!

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6 Comments on “Vegetarian Challenge Day 1: Spiced Apple and Butternut Squash Soup”

  1. November 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    That IS a ton of ingredients! I’ve made a cashew, carrot, ginger soup before…not sure where my “recipe” is (lost somewhere in my brain). But it’s based off the Cashew Carrot Ginger soup made by Pacific. I can’t find the Pacific kind in regular grocery stores, but it’s always at Target! It should be vegetarian, but you’d have to check. It’s super-tasty, though. I know what you mean about really having to add spices to homemade soups to make them taste like anything. Suppose that’s why all the store-bought versions are full of salt :/

  2. November 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Another option to using raw squash would be to slice each one in half lengthwise, and place the flat sides on a rimmed baking sheet (they’re juicy!). Bake in the oven @375 for 40-60 mins. Then just scoop out the seeds, and peel the skin off. I used raw squash once and never again! 🙂

    • November 12, 2012 at 7:28 am #

      I do that too only I scoop the seeds before I bake the squash and it seems a little less juicy that way.

  3. November 7, 2012 at 6:56 am #

    Good luck! I recently finished a three-week Gluten Free plan now moving on to a Low Cholesterol plan which is mainly to benefit my DH. Not sure if I could go completely veggie but am interested to see how you make out!

  4. November 10, 2012 at 2:17 am #

    Funny how you call it a challenge. I enjoy being a vegetarian. I used to love meat and fish, but now it’s a challenge for me to eat them again.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Vegetarian Challenge Day 9: Veggie Stir-fry | Once A Month 4 Ladies - November 14, 2012

    […] Lunch: Leftover Butternut Squash Soup […]

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