Friday, January 13, 2012

how about a recipe for roasted butternut squash & chipolte soup?

happy new year!  did you make any resolutions?  have you kept them so far?  my new tradition is to start each year following my friend laura's eat healthy challenge.  the challenge requires you to give up 6 food groups for 28 days.  the following is an excerpt from laura's blog, the healthy junkie, which explains in greater detail:

"Choose at least four of the following foods to be eliminated during the Eat Healthy Challenge and circle them. Choosing all six elements will speed up the benefits, but I also believe baby steps will eventually lead you to big steps. I will eliminate the following from my diet for the duration of my Challenge:

* No Alcohol
* No Caffeine (green tea’s okay)
* No Sugar (including cane sugar, dextrose, fructose, glucose, sucrose, corn syrup, maltodextrin, sorbitol and many more). Very little agave nectar is okay.
* No White flour
* No Dairy (including milk, cheese, cream, ice cream). Plain yogurt is okay, little butter is okay.
* No Processed Foods or Hydrogenated Foods (this one must be circled by everyone). Also, do not eat luncheon meats with nitrites and nitrates added as preservatives. These are known to react with HCL (hydrochloric acid) in the stomach and produce nitrosamines that are known carcinogens. Also, no MSG or sulfites. No Nutra-Sweet, aspartame, sucralose or Splenda.

I explain in more detail why we are omitting these food from our diets in past blog posts. Get ready and prepare. See the blog entries on Breakfast Suggestions and Lunch and Dinner Suggestions and Shopping List."
extra virgin olive oil biscuits

we do this 4 times per year and when i first started all i could think of was what i was giving up...bad mindset.  six challenges later, i have discovered how easy (and delicious) it is to eat this way.  most of the time i forget we are "cleansing"...and i challenge myself to create/find recipes that meet the criteria without anyone knowing it is "challenge friendly".  today's soup is a perfect example....i would happily eat this any month of the year (and i do).  smoky, sweet, rich...perfect for lunch or dinner.  i serve with a big salad and a basket of my extra virgin olive oil biscuits (which i tweaked using 100% white whole wheat flour, agave for the sugar and almond milk for the regular...voilà! cleanse friendly).  try it and let me know what you think.

roasted butternut squash & chipotle soup
1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
3 medium carrots, chopped into 1 inch pieces
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1 medium sweet white onion
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
1-2 tsp adobo sauce from can
5 cups vegetable broth (i like the imagine brand)
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

preheat oven to 400 degrees. line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
peel the squash (i use a vegetable peeler) and chop into 1 inch pieces.  place the squash and carrots onto the prepared baking sheet.  drizzle with olive oil (about 3 passes of the bottle).  using your hands, roll the vegetables in the oil until totally covered.  sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in preheated oven.  roast until vegetables are fork tender and beginning to caramelize. (about 1 hour...check after 45 minutes)

while squash is roasting, add 2 tablespoons e.v.o.o. to a medium saucepan.  warm over medium heat.  add onions and garlic and sauté until softened and translucent. (about 10 minutes).  add chipotles and adobo. (note, i like spicy foods so i add the adobo for heat and the delicious taste.  if you want a milder soup, use only 1 tsp or eliminate entirely).  sauté another 2 minutes.  add the vegetable broth, raise heat and bring to a boil.  reduce heat back to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.  add roasted vegetables and simmer for 15 minutes.  remove from heat and use an immersion blender to puree until smooth.  i like my soup with texture so i stop at this point.  if you want a very smooth soup, press through a sieve or strainer to remove solids.  (note, if you do not have a immersion blender, you can use a regular blender and work in careful, the soup is hot)

add soup back to saucepan and reheat until hot.  ladle into soup bowls and garnish with cilantro.

happy and healthy 2012 everyone...please visit throughout january for more healthy and delicious recipes.  interested in the challenge?  you can start anytime...check out laura's blog for all the details, tips and shopping suggestions.


diane padoven
napa farmhouse 1885
"live a green life of style™ "

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