meatless monday: fleur de sel butternut squash soup

I have my first cold of the season.  Normally, it takes longer than this to get sick.  I think I even made it until January or February last year before I had to invest in a life’s supply of kleenex.  Needless to say, I was miserable today.  Sneezy, sniffly, drowsy eyes, sneezing… yuck.  I was happy to get home and be able to have some nice, hot soup for dinner.  The only thing that would have made it better is the crock pot.

When I got home, I got to work cutting up 2 large butternut squash to start it roasting.  This step could definitely be done ahead of time to cut down on preparation on a weeknight.  The final product was so creamy and delicious, it was definitely worth the wait :).  Fleur de sel was the perfect addition to butternut squash.  It is the french sea salt that is commonly used in salted caramel flavored desserts, making it the perfect salt for a sweeter variety squash.  Per bottle, it is a bit pricy.  But I have been using the container I got at Williams Sonoma for almost two years and it was totally worth it.

Fleur de sel Butternut Squash Soup

  • 2 large butternut squash
  • 2-3 cups veggie broth, depending on thickness desired
  • 1/8t-1/4t garam masala
  • 1/8t-1/4t cumin
  • 1t fleur de sel, or more to taste
  • kale, optional
  • optional topping: pepitas
1. Preheat oven to 425′.  Cut up squash in small cubes and roast for 45 minutes to an hour.
2. Once the squash is cooked, put it into a blender (in batches if necessary) with the veggie broth.  Puree until smooth.
3. Once the squash is all pureed, put into a soup pot and bring to a boil on the stovetop, adding the spices and kale.  Thin, if needed, with additional veggie broth.
4. Top with pepitas and additional fleur de sel.
This might be my favorite butternut squash soup.  I do love Trader Joe’s, but this one is 100x thicker.  This will definitely be made again this year!

Bring on more soup!  And more importantly, bring on the kleenex!

falling for meatless monday

In my mind, August is always unbearably hot and so humid you can almost see the water in the air.  Something is definitely different this year.  The mornings and the evenings are cool and crisp, making it seem more like fall than mid-summer.  I even had to forego my Tae-Bo dvd this morning for a walk outside to enjoy the outdoors!  Naturally, my fall taste buds have kicked into high gear.  Good thing we always keep a supply of pumpkin in our pantry!

Kinley actually came up with this recipe – we didn’t even know what we were going to make until tonight and we had all the ingredients to pull this together.  Easy peasy.  Pumpkin in the sauce and pepitas on top.

Gluten Free Chickpea and Pumpkin Pasta

  • 1 can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling, just pure pumpkin)
  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4t italian seasoning
  • 1t onion powder
  • 1t garlic powder
  • 1t sucanat or organic sugar
  • 1/8t nutmeg
  • 1/4t cinnamon
  • 1/4t cumin
  • salt, to taste
  • red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 8oz brown rice pasta
1. Mix together all of the ingredients except for the chickpeas and the pasta.
2. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding the chickpeas for the last few minutes.
3. Boil water and cook pasta according to directions.  Drain and rinse with hot water (helps the gluten free pasta not stick together.
4. Put the pasta back into the pot and add the sauce.  Stir to combine and heat through.
So simple.  So delicious.
I know Fall will be here before I know it and in some ways I’m excited.  Apple orchards, pumpkin fields, beautiful fall colors, and of course my birthday.  But Fall, I’m not quite ready for you yet.  Give me a few more weeks of summer, please.