Monday, October 1, 2012

BNS: ButterNut Squash

I just read an article saying Anne Hathaway was wed this last weekend and the food was all vegan. Moment to be happy about the food choices, and moment to to call my friends in the biz and ask them why they didn't throw Girl On Top Catering's name in there to bid, lol! <- Not really on that last part, I think a wedding that size and starlit would cause a full fledge panic attack. 

Bwahaha, how overplayed are these eCards?
And how frighteningly true... as I look at my 2 dogs and cat....
In other Girl On Top news though we will be launching an offer with a site for a deal on private house/dinner parties! (Zenceirge: I'm so excited about this that I can't seem to stop thinking about it. As I fiddle with menus, and tweak last minute ingredients I have discovered a new twist on an old fall favorite....... Butternut Squash Soup. And this fun little twist is definitely worth sharing!

Let's talk Golden Berries real quick. How many of you have heard of them? And do any of you cook with them? I featured them in the sweet potato recipe a couple weeks ago, but didn't get a moment to talk about why I love them so much. Well here's a few reasons I love them, and why you should to: they are high in protein, phosphorus, vitamins A&C, B vitamins, and bioflavonoids. Here's the source for further reading:

Dried Golden Berries, YUM
Why that quick tangent about golden berries you ask? Because my healthy eating friends, golden berries are one of two secret ingredients to this new twist on BNS Soup. Get ready for a flavorful soup delight!

BNS Soup w/ A Berry Twist
serves 6-8
gluten free

1 medium/large butternut squash
3 small/medium honey crisp apples (or gala)
2 stalks of celery
1/2 cup dried golden berries (if you can't find them at your local health food store raisins will work)
1 cup chopped leek
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 small/medium avocado
1 cup apple sauce
1 cup water
1 tablespoon avocado oil (or olive)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon mustard powder
salt for taste
Handful of walnuts as decoration

All right lets get this soup party started right, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut your butternut squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Next rub a little avocado oil (or olive oil) all over the two halves, and place them face down in a a baking pan. Cook the squash for 35min-40min. Once it is finished remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once it is cool enough to touch remove the skin, and cut the BNS into bite sized cubes.

While your BNS is baking away its time to chop chop chop. Chop up your apple and celery into bite sized pieces and set aside, and chop up your onion and leek into tiny pieces and set aside. Now get out your largest stock pot (my personal one holds 8 quarts and is great for the job). Put your tablespoon of oil in the pot at high heat and pour in your chopped leek and onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes stirring often, and then add in your 1/2 cup of golden berries. Keep up the stirring as you want to mix the flavors together. Cook the berry mixture for 3-5 minutes more, and then add in your apples and celery and cook for 5 more minutes.

At this point pour your cup of water over your hot-hot-hot soup ingredients, and add in the lime juice, apple cider vinegar, thyme and mustard powder (salt for taste too). Stir everything around for a few minutes letting the water get hot too. Next add in your baked (and still warm) butternut squash and applesauce! Turn the temperature down to low, and cover (lifting the lid occasionally to stir). Leave the soup covered for about 10 minutes. Towards the end of the 10 minutes add in your avocado <- alert there is your second secret ingredient showing itself. Stir it into the soup blending it with the other flavors.

Now that you have cooked the soup ingredients to perfection its time to blend!! If you have a large food processor you can pour everything into it at once, or pour batches into your blender. Either way the result is going to be AMAZING! This soup is a wonderful side to a meal, a fantastic warm comfort bowl on a cold day, and PACKED with taste and healthy goodness. Top with some chopped up walnuts, and you have yourself a fabulous Butternut Squash Soup. :)

Yes, this is the same photo. But I like it a lot ;-p

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