Try This- Butternut Squash, Sour Cream, and Apple Cider Soup

Summer gets all the glory for sure, but who doesn’t love a cozy Fall or Winter night snuggled up with a hot meal made with fresh seasonal produce? Mother Nature has us covered as always, and this recipe that celebrates the bounty of a Fall harvest will have you begging for seconds. Butternut squash is cropping up at local farmers’ markets and farm shares everywhere, and I for one couldn’t be happier. Last week, I was ODing on this delicious roasted pumpkin salad with feta and spinach, and this week I’m totally obsessed with this super easy butternut squash soup.

We all know that good things happen when you pair sage and butternut squash, but straight up magic comes from pairing butternut squash with sour cream and cider. Say whaaaaaat?!! I’m not joking. I first spotted this recipe on Food52 and I’m kicking myself for not making it and sharing it with you sooner! This soup comes together in less than half an hour, tastes amazing, and you can pour the leftovers onto anything from focaccia to your favorite pasta. This is totally going to be your new Fall favorite. You must try this!!!

Butternut Squash + Sour Cream + Apple Cider Soup

Ingredients

Serves: 4

  • shallot, sliced
  • clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • cups peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup vegetarian broth, homemade or canned low-sodium
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 unpeeled Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apple, cored and finely diced
  • Cracked black pepper

Directions

  1. Heat a medium-size saucepan over low heat. Add the shallot, garlic, and 1/4 cup water. Cook until the shallot and garlic are softened, being careful not to let them burn, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the squash and the vegetarian broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the squash is soft, about 20 minutes.
  2. Carefully pour the mixture into a blender. Holding the top down with a towel, blend until smooth. Sidebar: instead of all of the fuss of transferring your mixture to a blender, you can use a hand blender right in your saucepan. I got this hand blender as a gift (Thanks, Valerie!!!) and I seriously can’t live without it. It’s upped my smoothie and soup game to expert level.
  3. Add the cider, sour cream, and salt. Continue blending (or hand blending) until well combined. The soup can be made ahead up to this point. If you want to save some for later, now’s the time. You can store it in mason jars and refrigerate/freeze for later. When ready to eat, place in a clean saucepan over low heat until heated through. Season with additional salt if needed.
  4. Ladle the soup into 4 bowls. Garnish with the diced red apple and cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.

Try This—Roasted Pumpkin Salad With Spinach and Feta

I have an insatiable sweet tooth, and while I should technically feel bad about the entire loaf of Blueberry Streusel Bread I ate over the weekend, I’m taking comfort in the fact that my other latest obsession is this healthy salad recipe. I absolutely love salads that incorporate something cooked, especially since the addition of something warm makes it easier to enjoy a fresh salad in cold weather. This Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Spinach and Feta from Recipe Tin Eats ticks all the boxes. It’s seasonal, it’s sweet, it’s savory, it’s comfort food, and  best of all it’s healthy.

I’ve made this recipe with winter squash, but roasted pumpkin is always the clear winner. When roasted just right, the pumpkin is sweet and juicy without being too mushy (as squash can sometimes be). The feta adds a zing of salty and creamy, while the pine nuts add a nutty crunch. This is the perfect salad recipe for those colder Autumn and Winter days, and makes a great addition to your Thanksgiving menu. Delicious! You must try this!!!

Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Spinach and Feta

ingredients

for the roasted pumpkin

  • 1½ lbs pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

for the dressing

  • 2½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper

for the salad

  • 5 oz (about 4 handfuls) baby spinach
  • 2 oz feta, crumbled
  • ¼ c pine nuts (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 430°F.
  • Toss pumpkin with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Spread on baking tray, bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, flip, then bake for a further 7 – 10 minutes until golden but not mushy.
  • Remove from oven and immediately loosen pumpkin with a spatula (pumpkin tends to stick to the backing sheet as it cools).
  • In a small mason jar, combine salad dressing ingredients and shake well.
  • If using pine nuts, toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat until light golden and they smell nutty.
  • Remove them from the skillet as soon as they’re ready and set aside. 
  • Place spinach in a bowl, drizzle with a bit of the dressing then toss. 
  • Add pumpkin, just a bit of feta and pine nuts, then gently toss just to disperse the feta.
  • Transfer to serving plate.
  • Sprinkle over remaining feta and pine nuts.
  • Just before serving, drizzle with remaining dressing. Serve and enjoy!

Try This— Penne With Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese

This Fall inspired variation on the classic Cacio e Pepe is the ultimate comfort food.

Maybe I’m unlucky in life, but the entire time I was in Rome this summer, I didn’t have one single incredible food moment. The stars aligned and I was truly blessed enough to travel around Europe. We spent a full week in the Eternal City, and I could barely contain my excitement about sampling the food. In fairness, I had heard so much about how great the food in Rome was that I probably built it up in my head until my expectations could never be satisfied. After crawling around Rome from Monti to Trastevere looking for delicious food, I finally just gave up. Our last night in Rome, we stayed in and I made this Cacio e Pepe dish in the kitchen of our vacation rental.

Since being back, I’ve been so over Italian food. I don’t know if it has anything to do with my experience in Rome, but I just haven’t really had that Italian food craving that has been an ever present part of my life. Anyway, this weekend I suddenly had that old Italian food itch that I’ve been missing so much, and I decided to make this Fall inspired cacio e pepe I discovered on Food Network. The subtle sweetness of butternut squash paired with the tartness of goat cheese is a game changer. You must try this!!!

Penne With Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 (2-pound) butternut or kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. Put an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Spray a baking sheet, liberally, with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Mix the squash and onion together and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for to 40 to 45 minutes until the vegetables are golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. While the squash mixture is cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water. Put the pasta, goat cheese and 1 cup of pasta water in a large serving bowl. Toss until the cheese has melted and forms a creamy sauce. Add the squash and onion mixture, the walnuts and the basil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with Parmesan and serve.

Try This— 3 Ingredient Creamy Avocado Dip

This creamy avocado dip is just 3 ingredients!

You can add an avocado or two to pretty much anything and it’s delicious. I have tested this theory in dozens of recipes, both sweet and savory, and I have yet to be disappointed. Still my greatest avocado triumphs have come in the form of 3-ingredient-or-less recipes. So as I’m preparing my Memorial Day menu, I’ve been fooling around with some simple, yet highly satisfying avocado recipes.  My absolute favorite is this creamy avocado dip from the Kitchn perfect for entertaining. Use it to dip chips, veggies, crackers, or as a condiment on your homemade grilled veggie burgers. It’s a crowd pleaser, y’all, I promise. You must try this!

3 Ingredient Creamy Avocado Dip

Ingredients

Serves 4 to 6
  • 2 medium ripe avocados
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit.
  • Spoon the flesh of the avocados into the bowl of food processor or blender.
  • Add the goat cheese, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Blend until smooth and creamy, 30 to 40 seconds.

Try This— Sweet Potato Hummus

this sweet potato hummus recipe is the perfect Paleo addition to your summer menu!

Since Winter basically refused to end this year and all the farmers’ markets and farm shares are either opening late or decidedly scant because of it, I thought I’d try my hand at hacking my favorite summertime dip. Hummus is a staple in my house. We smear raw veggies with this creamy delicacy all summer long as a healthy snack and sometimes it even winds up replacing a meal all together because we just can’t stop eating it. This recipe comes from the appetizer menu of Miss Ada, a cute little Mediterranean restaurant on Dekalb Ave. a few blocks from where I went to High School (Brooklyn Technical High School). Chef Tomer Blechman brilliantly uses sweet potatoes as a base instead of chickpeas in this recipe, so it’s perfect for anyone on a Paleo diet, or anyone that wants to use their chickpeas for something more productive like these beauty recipes. Best part is that by using sweet potatoes, your adding a healthy dose of complex carbs and fiber, oh and it makes your finished hummus totally Instagrammable. Drop everything… You must try this!!!

Chef Tomer Blechman in the outdoor eating area of Miss Ada 184 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Sweet Potato Hummus

Ingredients

serves 6 people

  • 5 medium sweet potatoes
  • 5 garlic cloves,
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1 cup smoked paprika
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp creme fraiche
  • 1 red onion, small diced
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • Baharat spice mix (1 Tbsp each of cinnamon, cardamom, and English pepper)
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium pot, boil sweet potatoes until tender.
  • Allow to cool. Add to a food processor and blend with garlic and tahini until smooth.
  • Make the paprika oil: In a medium saucepan over low heat, simmer paprika and canola oil for five minutes. Allow to stand for 20 minutes; strain into a squeeze bottle.
  • In a small bowl, combine creme fraiche and onion. Set aside.
  • On a baking sheet, spread almonds in an even layer. Toss with remaining canola oil and baharat spice mix. Bake for five minutes.
  • Scoop sweet potato mixture onto a plate. Create a nest and place creme fraiche in the middle. Add the almonds, paprika oil, and Aleppo pepper. Garnish with thinly sliced onion and parsley sprigs.
  • Serve with pita or sliced vegetables.