Why have I never used apples in a soup before?
Is it just me or do you also feel like a culinary bad ass picking out squash? Squash is one of those veggies that I used to pass right by in the grocery store without giving them a second thought. I had no idea what to do with them so I just ignored them. Seemed like the sensible thing to do at the time. Learning how to use veggies that previously intimated me has been a huge part of gaining confidence in the kitchen and having more fun with food!
Tip: Next time you're at the grocery store buy something you've never tried before! Call on your trusty health coach or Mr. Google to figure out what to do with it. May you feel deeply empowered by exploring and playing with your food!
For this recipe cut off both ends of the squash and then peel it with a potato peeler. Be sure to get all the skin off. Once peeled, chop it into two sections dividing between top and bottom. The top is really straight forward just dice it up. The bottom needs to be cut in half lengthwise to access the center where the seeds are. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and the stringy bits (are you loving my official terminology here?) and then dice up the rest. Not so scary, right.
Also, why have I never used apples in a soup before? They add that special something texture wise to this soup. Speaking of texture, I made this in the slow cooker (as you can see) the first time and prefer it on the stove top. It changes the texture ever so slightly and has more depth of flavor. That said I would make it in the slow cooker again in a pinch.
Recipe modified from Garden Cuisine.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH STEW
Download a printable shopping list here.
- 3 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 large leek, sliced
- 1 med to large butternut squash, large dice
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 apple, remove core and seeds and dice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 boxes vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon clove
- 1 pinch of cayenne (optional)
- 1 orange, juiced
LET'S TALK ABOUT LEEKS
Leeks are your friend! They look a little wild but they're totally manageable and so good for you. Leeks have something called allicin. It's a sulfur-containing compound that neutralizes free radicals in the body as you digest. Isn't that amazing? They're literally like super heroes in your body killing off the bad stuff as they make their way through your system.
Below is an example of how to quickly prepare leeks. Cut off the dark green tops and the bottom, then slice. Give them a good rinsing and continue chopping or leave them in rings.
- For use in a slow cooker
Simply chop everything and add to the cooker. It's as easy as it gets.
- If preparing via stove top
1. Add oil, onion and leeks and saute until onion is clear.
2. Add carrots, squash, veggie broth and spices. Bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat and cover with lid, simmer until squash is soft. (around 30 minutes)
4. Stir in maple syrup and apple. Cook for around 10 minutes or until apple is soft but still has a bit of crunch.
5. Stir in the juice of one orange.
6. Add salt, pepper and more spices to taste. Be mindful with the cayenne, the aftertaste is really strong in this recipe if you add too much.
If you need a little giggle or a visual to remind you to take your relationship with food and your life lightly here you go... I went to the spa and had this amazing 5 hour experience that ended with a cream hair treatment and then the girl attempted to style my hair with a blow dry. I walked out of the spa looking like this. I haven't had so much fun or laughed so hard in as long as I can remember. xo, Lacy