soup

Harvest Dinner of Champions

Nothing says fall like some harvest dinner goodness.

Like cheddar cheese and crackers and some squash and apple soup? And don't forget the kale, of course.

Get a feeling of groundedness from the squash (it grows in the ground, get it?) and the sweetness of the roasted butternut plus the apple will totally satisfy your sweet tooth. Choose locally-made cheddar if possible. Making this meal definitely made me miss living in Vermont where I was this time last year but I'm grateful for all the good memories.

Here's a fall-tastic meal that's easy, convenient and delicious. What more can you ask for?

Harvest Dinner of Champions

Harvest Dinner of Champions Dillan DiGiovanni

Roasted butternut squash and apple soup:

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 medium apple (like Honeycrisp or Pink Lady), chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Use parchment paper to line a baking dish or cookie sheet.

3) Add butternut squash cut lengthwise into quarters. Remove seeds and rub exposed squash flesh with extra virgin olive oil (oh my!)

4) Bake in the oven for 35-50 minutes or until tender when poked with a fork. Cut into cubes and keep the skin on.

5) In a large pot, melt 1 TBSP butter over low heat and brown onion.

6) Add chopped apple and cook 2 mins. Add 1 cup water. Add cubed squash.

7) Add 1/2 cup more water if needed and cook contents down until soft. Add small pinch of salt. USe hand blender to combine all ingredients until smooth. Serve warm in a bowl.

 

Sauteed kale with sliced garlic:

  • 3-4 big kale leaves, trimmed off stem and chopped fine
  • 1 large garlic clove, sliced very thin
  • 1 TBSP coconut or olive oil

1) Warm oil in a frying pan over medium heat

2) Add garlic and cook 3 minutes until it begins to brown

3) Add chopped kale and cook down until soft

4) Serve hot and sprinkle with pinch of sea salt

 

Cheese and crackers

Buy good quality cheese and crackers to complement this meal. I enjoy CABOT Cheddar and Carr's Crackers.

 

I'd love to hear comments if you make this! What is your favorite part? I can't choose, I love every aspect. That's why I posted it as a package deal.

 

 

Sweet, Curried Lentil Stew

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The cold has arrived in the Northeast, although without snow. Hmm. Here's a very delicious curried lentil stew to warm you to your bones!

 

Sweet, Curried Lentil Stew

1 cup French or brown lentils, soaked (you can also cut your cooking time by using lentils in a can--buy organic when possible!)

2 large sweet potatoes, chopped 1 small yellow onion, diced 1 Tbsp coconut oil 3 large leaves of collards or chard, washed and sliced thin

 

1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp curry 1 tsp cumin 1/4 esp cardamom 1/4 tsp coriander 1 tsp fresh ginger root, minced 1 large garlic clove, minced 1/2 tsp sea salt

 

In a large soup pot, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add (previously soaked) lentils, reduce heat to medium and cook until softened. Add sweet potatoes when the lentils are half-cooked. Add more water as needed for desired texture (soup or stew).

In a large saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium heat and cook onions, garlic and ginger in coconut oil until onions are translucent. Add spices and stir until blended well. Simmer for a few minutes.

Add onion/spice mixture to large pot with lentils and sweet potatoes. Add greens and simmer for 15 minutes or until greens are softened.

 

Serve hot and enjoy!

 

Sassy Split Pea Soup

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  Split pea soup is ridiculously easy to make and really good for you because the peas are so high in protein. You might have seen pea protein powders taking over the shelves at your local health food store or Whole Foods, and that's why.

Rather than consume highly-processed protein powders (I'm tossing the canister I bought last month) can I suggest you make this soup instead?

I call it Sassy Split Pea because I added a ton of garlic, enough to keep a vampire away as well as everyone else, and a dash of chili powder, curry powder and some other spices and herbs because I was in a creative mood. I felt a little sassy tossing stuff in there that wouldn't normally be included in a recipe. I felt a little rebellious.

As we head into cooler weather, make this soup in large amounts and freeze for those nights you don't feel like cooking.

 

Sassy Split Pea Soup (with or without bacon)

2 cups green split peas 4 cups water or broth (add 3 bouillon cubes to the water if you aren't using broth) 3 small carrots, sliced 1 medium Russet potato, diced 3 large cloves of garlic, minced 3 pieces well-done organic, uncured bacon (like Niman Ranch or Applegate) 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables 1 cup collard greens, finely chopped

1/2 tsp dried sage 1/2 tsp dried thyme 1/2 tsp curry powder 1/4 tsp chili powder 1/2 tsp sea salt

 

Soak the split peas in a large pot, covered with water for 4-5 hours. Strain and rinse. Fill pot with 4 cups water or broth and bring to a boil. Add peas and reduce heat to medium, stir and let peas cook for 20-40 mins, checking often and stirring.

Add carrots, potatoes, collards and spices. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until peas are broken down completely and vegetables are soft.

Serve hot alongside some multi-grain or gluten-free toast with butter.