Butternut Squash and Roasted Red Pepper Soup

My Hero

Every once and awhile, I have to give some credit to the cook who got me started… my mom. :) In addition to being a great cook, sometimes my mom doubles a super hero. Allow me to explain…

Last week I volunteered to bring a soup to my co-workers birthday celebration on Monday afternoon. On Sunday afternoon I really needed to make a soup, but it just wasn’t getting any closer to being started – much less finished! Between work, church, my sisters 5th birthday party, bible study, and a going away party I was feeling pretty stretched thin. I was running out of time. If I didn’t make a pot of soup MAGICALLY appear, I was going to be staying up late that night for an early morning the next day.

Luckily, I am a natural problem solver. I decided to CASUALLY shared this dilemma with my mom (who was on her way to the grocery store as we talked). I told her that if she would HAPPEN to make a soup that night – could she make it a butternut squash soup with peppers, kale, and red skinned potatoes.

It was taking a chance… But, when I got home at midnight, I knew I had played my cards right because THIS is what I saw…

Pot of Soup on the Stove

So, we should all thank my mom for sharing this REALLY AMAZING soup. Keep in mind this is the same woman who won a soup cooking competition for the entire city of Jefferson. She’s that good.

Nutritionally speaking…

This soup is good on many different levels. Isn’t it a relief when something that TASTES good is actually good FOR you? That way you can enjoy the process of eating it without feeling a lot of guilt afterwards. A couple of really great ingredients make this soup a smart choice…

  • Butternut Squash – winter squash is an untapped market. I’m pretty sure if you knew how easy it was to fix a butternut squash and make it taste good – more of you would be doing it. Not to mention butternut squash is half the calories and carbohydrates per serving as it’s close cousin – the sweet potato.
  • Kale – the most nutrient dense vegetable. We typically use it as garnish… stop that! Get it in your food! Kale is great because it has a really firm structure for a dark leafy green that doesn’t get mushy when you cook it. It also stays a nice pretty green to add color to your food.
  • Roasted Red Pepper – peppers actually have more Vitamin C than oranges – but no one gives them any credit. I’m not sure if I think Vitamin C is the answer for avoiding your winter cold (I would side more with Vitamin D), but I know it sure wouldn’t hurt.
  • Red Skinned Potato – if you’re one of those people eating bananas every day for potassium, let me tell you something useful. Did you know a potato (with the skin) has more potassium than a banana? Not just a little bit more – a lot more. I’m not sure why doctors, nurses, and patients think the only source of potassium is in a banana. (We should talk about this more some other day.)

Here’s the other great thing… it’s October. All of these foods are IN SEASON! (a.k.a. cheap)

So, in summary, I really don’t see a lot of reasons NOT to make this soup. ;)

Recipe: Butternut Squash and Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Fall Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash (large)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 lb mild pork sausage
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 red potatoes, cubed
  • Chicken broth or boullion
  • Milk
  • Feta Cheese or Goat Cheese, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 1 small bunch of kale

Directions:

  1. Peel and cube butternut squash and put in large stock pot.  Cover with water (or chicken broth) and boil until tender.  Scoop out 1/3 of the cubed butternut squash and put in another pan.  Puree the remaining butternut squash and broth with an immersion blender.  Add milk to desired consistency.  Add cubed butternut squash to the puree.
  2. In a separate pan, fry sausage with yellow onion.  Drain.  Add to soup.
  3. Lightly grease the red bell pepper with olive oil.  Roast on an open flame.  Chop and add to soup.
  4. Cube red potatoes, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast in 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.  Add to soup.
  5. Chop fresh kale and add to soup.  Add feta or goat cheese, if desired.  Season with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic powder.

A Note to the Diabetics: The rule on soup is if you can put a spoon in the middle of the pot and the spoon falls – then the soup is probably 1 C soup = 15g carbohydrate. If you put a spoon in the middle and it sticks straight up before falling or falls very slowly, then you probably have a stew. 1 C of stew = 25-30g of carbohydrates

Enjoy!

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