I love me some fall. I don’t love that winter comes so close behind it and I wish I could have even one more month of crisp, bright days, crunching in pretty fall leaves but — hey, I chose to live in MN, right? Since this is the land of the frozen tundra you can bet I’ll be enjoying this warm, creamy soup all winter long.
Psssst…If you love fall like I do, and you love this recipe like I do, stay tuned until the end of the post! We’ve got a special opportunity for you to set your Thanksgiving table with yummy, BODYReDESIGN-approved recipes like this one. No more falling off the healthy wagon when the holidays come around!
Okay so here’s the thing…I went to my beautiful friend Laurie’s house for an awesome party, and as the perfect and sweetest host, she had beautiful food laid out.
Enter: THIS AWESOME SOUP.
At first she kinda scared me away from making it. She said it was really involved and took a long time to make. Eeek! I’m always looking for simple. But it was so good. I didn’t ask for the recipe, but enjoyed two big bowls of it.
Two days later I got an email from Laurie. I guess EVERYONE at the party asked for the recipe — it was that amazing. So she sent it to all the party-goers. When I looked over it I was like, “Hey, I think I can make this simpler.”
I’ve made a couple changes and added my little notes on how to get this recipe down to a simple preparation. Side note: It will still take some time, ’cause roasting stuff just does. But it isn’t complicated, and a week’s worth of delicious soup that you can heat up at a chilly moment is SO worth it.
Most of the time spent on this recipe is the roasting. Here’s how I did it simply.
Butternut squash can be messy, hard to cut, and complicated. I simplified it by buying a 12 oz bag of pre-cut, cubed butternut squash. Then I cut an acorn squash (much simpler to work with) in half and I placed all of the squash on a tinfoil lined baking pan with 1 cup of water and 2 Tbsp of olive oil. You can bet I didn’t use any ol’ olive oil; I used the Garlic Olive oil from Vinaigrette. But any ol’ olive oil will work.
The oven was pre-heating to 450 so I popped the squash in, then got going on my tomatoes/garlic. I cored them, cut them in half, and tossed them in 2 tbsp of the garlic olive oil plus 1 tbsp of 18-year balsamic vinaigrette. Again, any ol’ balsamic will work for this, but the 18-year is SO delicious. I also tossed it with 4 whole, peeled garlic cloves. Since I like to maximize my time and I had extra space, I also added a container of small cherry tomatoes + 6 more garlic cloves, which I tossed in another 2 tbps of olive oil + 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar.
I decided to freeze these and use them for another recipe. You should do this too, ’cause I promise to share that recipe here in the next few weeks.
I put all the tomatoes on a pan lined with tinfoil (simple clean-up) and added them to the oven. The tomatoes should get crinkly and a little brown and the squash should be tender when speared with a fork — that’s when you know it’s done. This takes a lil’ time my friends…like 35-50 minutes. Note: Prep your tomatoes after putting the squash in the oven, because they cook faster.
Now you can prep the rest while you’re waiting.
Okay, Seriously Simple note here: The recipe called for 1 carrot diced, 1 onion diced, 2 celery stalks diced.
HELLO — time sucker!
I bought a fresh container of soup mix that had these ingredients diced already. You can often find something like this in the frozen section as well. Look for ‘soup mix’ in the frozen veggie isle, just make sure it doesn’t have potatoes. Now, we could have a chat here about how much more it costs to buy this stuff already cut. But when I added it up, the price for a bag of carrots, bag of celery, and an onion came out to MORE than 1 container of pre-cuts for the soup. If I had bought individually and cut everything I definitely would’ve had leftovers, but I don’t eat carrots or celery often, and the leftovers would have gotten tossed out anyway. So I saved myself time cutting AND I didn’t waste food.
I used avocado oil (also from Vinaigrette) to sauté the veggies. This great oil has the highest smoke point of any natural oil, no flavor added and is healthier than butter. Get some, ’cause you’ll definitely be seeing it in more recipes here.
Some of the simmer times on the original recipe were longer than they needed to be, so I shortened them up to simplify it. Just a note on this: Using shorter simmer times means your soup is going to have a little less flavor-flav love on the first day. However, when you heat it for leftovers the flavors will have deepened. It gets better with age, just like us.
By now your squash should be done, and you can easily scoop out the pulp of the acorn squash then simply drop the cubed squash in with the juices from the tinfoil. Give it a little sim-simmer, around 5-10 minutes, add the tomatoes/garlic and puree it up. I have this immersion blender that keeps it simple. I don’t have to dirty a blender or food processor container. If you don’t have one, you’ll have an extra step while you puree the goodness up into creamy love. Safety note: If you’re putting hot soup in a regular blender, you’ll have to blend in batches. Fill the blender 1/3 full at a a time, and don’t close the lid tightly, so there’s room for steam to escape (or cover the blender with a towel instead of the lid). Otherwise you’ll end up with hot soup on your ceiling.
I reserved a few of the tomatoes and mashed them up separately to keep a couple yummy roasted chunks in the soup. Then I added the thyme, sage (dried to keep it simple) and fresh orange juice. Squeezing oranges is simple so I used two whole ones. I recommend this over buying juice ’cause it’s better fresh, and you aren’t tempted with leftover juice to drink (part of the BRD program is not drinking juice, only eating it whole- Rule #3).
A quick and simple jalapeño cream sauce finishes it up; it adds a nice, yet gentle kick to the soup. 1-1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1 diced jalapeño (seeds removed unless you like it REALLY spicy), and a squeezed lime (I also zested my lime to use the entire greatness of the citrus). Keep this separate and add a dollop to each fresh bowl you make.
I enjoyed this soup all week and gave it a Yu-MMMM-y. It would have gotten 5 M‘s ‘cept it didn’t quite compare to having it prepared for me at Laurie’s party.
- 1-12oz package diced butternut squash
- 1 acorn squash cut in half, seeds removed
- 6 plum tomatoes, cored and halved
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (18-yr is awesome)
- 4 tbsp. garlic olive oil
- 3 tbsp. advocado oil
- 1 red onion diced, 1 carrot peeled and diced, 2 celery stalks diced (OR simplify and use 2 cups of soup mix, frozen or fresh with the same ingredients)
- 6 cups of chix or veggie broth
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 4 tsps dried thyme
- 2 tbsp diced chives (green onions)
- 1 tsp dried sage
- Juice of 2 oranges
- Jalapeno Cream
- 1-1/2 cups of Greek Yogurt
- 1 jalepeno, diced, seeds removed
- Juice of ½-1 lime
- Zested lime (if desired)
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
- Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds. Add it flesh side down to a tinfoil lined pan and include your pre-cut butternut squash. Add 1 cup of water and 2 tbsp of olive oil (I used garlic olive oil) to the pan and pop it in the oven.
- Core tomatoes and toss with garlic, 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
- Add them to another pan lined with tinfoil and place in the oven.
- Tomatoes/garlic and squash are done when the squash is easily pierced with a fork and the tomato skins have crinkled and become a bit brown. About 35-50 minutes.
- While roasting veggies add advocado oil to a pot and heat over medium. Add celery, carrots, and onion (I used a pre-cut mix to keep it simple). Cook 10-15 minutes until translucent and then add chicken broth, salt and pepper and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Pull the squash out of the oven, and scoop out the acorn squash pulp. Add it to the chicken broth/veggie mix. Also toss in your cubed butternut squash with the leftover juices on the tinfoil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes stirring once or twice.
- Remove from heat and add the thyme, sage, and chives.
- Puree the mixture. If you're using a blender let it cool a bit before blending.
- Smash up the tomatoes/garlic mix and add most of it to the soup, continuing to blend. Reserve a few smashed tomatoes if you'd like a few roasted chunks in your soup (this is yummy).
- When the soup is blended, add oranges, squeezed and further season if necessary.
- For Jalapeño Cream: Halve jalapeño and remove seeds (unless you like it super spicy).
- Dice jalepeno and mix with 1-1/2 cups of Greek yogurt.
- Squeeze ½-1 juiced lime into Greek Yogurt mix(how much to add is up to your citrus taste). If you wish for more citrus, zest the lime and mix it in with the yogurt as well.
- Blend well.
- To serve: Ladle soup into bowls and add a dollop of the jalapeño cream to the top. Garnish with lime zest/chives for extra pretty soup.
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