Thursday, February 21, 2013

Comfort for the Sickies....

So we are trying to shake the sickies over at my house…..How about you?  We’ve all had a horrendous cold, or something along the lines of that.  When I am sick, I crave soup.  Not because of its supposed healing properties, but because I find it comforting.  Especially if I have a stuffy nose or a sore throat.  However, when I am sick….I don’t want to put any time into cooking.  I need something quick and easy. 

Today I am going to show you how I make my super quick and easy Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup.  This soup is so easy, you could easily bust a batch out while fighting a fever, helping your kid blow their nose, or even after a hard day at work.  This soup is warm, sweet and savory at the same time, and it tastes rich….but it is actually pretty healthy.

I start by roasting butternut squash and a peeled green apple in the oven.  And no, I don’t cut my own butternut squash.  That’s hard, y’all.  I buy the already cubed squash that is near the bagged salads at the grocery store.  It is already diced up for me in pretty teeny tiny pieces.  I take those pieces and thrown them on a baking sheet with my peeled diced apple.  I drizzle some olive oil over the tops and then sprinkle on some salt and pepper.  This roasts for about twenty minutes at 400 degrees, or until the squash and apple are browned and delicious.

In the meantime, I toss some diced onion and a clove or two of garlic into a soup pot.  I sauté this until the onion is soft and translucent.  Then, I add some dried sage and stir that all around too.  I toss in the roasted squash and apple and some salt and pepper.  Finally, I add some chicken stock and let this all come to a boil.  See?  This soup is super simple with just a few ingredients….but I promise, it will be amazing.

Once the soup has simmered for a few minutes, it is time to blend it.  I use my immersion blender, but you could use a blender or a food processor….whatever is easiest for you.  I like my soup to be velvety smooth.  I think that this type of soup should be, but really, it’s your call.  The last step is to stir some nonfat plain Greek yogurt into your blended soup to really make it smooth and creamy.  You could use heavy cream, but why not lighten it up?  You can’t taste the difference.

I top my soup with some dried cranberries and crunchy walnuts.  This is, of course, optional.  But I find that the crunchy nuts are the perfect topper to a creamy soup.

What goes best with a steamy bowl of soup?  A sandwich, of course.  I like to serve my soup with a grilled turkey, cheese and apple sandwich.  This way I use up another apple that I already bought for the soup.  I like to keep this sandwich light too.  Let me show you what I use.

I like to layer Laughing Cow Swiss Flavored spreadable cheese on some healthy wheat bread.  Have you had it?  It’s only On top of that, I layer on turkey, thinly sliced green apple and arugula.  I grill this sandwich in a skillet with just a touch of butter.


Yum!  Nothing better than a hot bowl of soup and a yummy cheesy sandwich!  It didn’t make our colds go away, but it sure made me feel better about the never ending stream of coughing, nose blowing, not sleeping etc. that is going on around here.

Have a great weekend everybody!  I’ll see you back here next week.

Roasted Butternut and Apple Soup

12 ounces butternut squash, (I use Mann’s diced and peeled)

1 green apple, diced and peeled

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ a white onion, diced

1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage

1 teaspoon salt, divided

½ teaspoon black pepper, divided

3 cups chicken stock

½ cup nonfat plain Green yogurt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spread squash and apple on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.  Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until squash and apple is browned.  Set aside.

In a soup pot, sauté onion, garlic and sage in remaining olive oil.  Sauté over medium heat for about five minutes, or until onion is soft and translucent.  Add salt, pepper and roasted squash and apple to the pot.  Stir in chicken stock.  Bring soup to a boil over medium heat.  Let simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Blend soup with an immersion blender until smooth.  Add yogurt and heat through.

Serve with dried cranberries and walnuts.

Serves 4.

Grilled Turkey, Apple and Cheese Sandwich

8 slices honey wheat bread

4 Laughing Cow Swiss Flavored Spreadable Cheese wedges

12 ounces sliced deli turkey

1 green apple, sliced thinly

1 ½ cups arugula

Butter for grilling

In a large skillet, melt about 2 teaspoons butter.

Layer spreadable cheese, turkey, apple and arugula evenly over 4 slices of bread.  Top each sandwich with remaining 4 slices of bread.

Grill sandwiches in melted butter over medium high heat, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Serves 4

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