I feel that most of us have an idea of what we’re eating Thursday on Thanksgiving, however, I always find the few days leading up to and following Turkey Day to be those kind of “I have no idea what to eat” days—especially if you’re trying to keep things nutritious. In addition to all of the Thanksgiving eats and treats, my family is subsequently celebrating Hanukah—meaning the amount of sugary and starchy foods will be twofold for me this year. While I’m obviously looking forward to indulging, I can’t help but try to eat healthy and light until Thursday (and the few days after).
It was chilly in Charlotte yesterday, and all I wanted to do was cook a warm and hearty meal. I was craving a cheesy, creamy pasta dish, which we all know does not a healthy dish make. Trying to satisfy my rich and creamy craving, I decided to try a new soup recipe and use cauliflower as a thickening agent instead of cream. I’ve used cauliflower in soups before and have always been impressed with how thick the vegetable makes soups. Since I’ve been all about roasting vegetables this fall, I figured why not roast some of my favorite fall veggies (sweet potatoes and butternut squash), cauliflower, and garlic and make them into a thick and satisfying soup?
The roasted butternut squash, sweet potato, and cauliflower soup was both filling and satisfying. The guy I cook for said it was the best soup I’ve made thus far, and I make a lot of soups. The cauliflower successfully and tastefully made the soup almost like a bisque—yet all those calories found in bisques are not in my soup. One serving of the soup (8 ounces; 1 cup) comes out to only 85 calories, and trust me when I say that it is filling—after only one bowl, I found myself stuffed. Even if you’re not looking for a light soup, this soup can please the appetite of even the hungriest of folk. I may have just found my perfect pre or post thanksgiving dinner.
May you all have a fantastic and food/friend/family filled Thanksgiving. And to those that the holiday applies, have a Happy, Happy, Happy, Happy Hanukah!
Roasted Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato, and Cauliflower Soup
-2.5 cups sweet potato, peeled and cut into half inch cubes
-2.5 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into half inch cubes
-1 medium head of cauliflower, florets only
– 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled (feel free to add more or less depending on your preference)
-1 small or medium white onion, chopped
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Parsley to taste, about 1.5 tsp
-2 to 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
-3 cups of chicken stock
-2 cups of chicken broth
-Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
-Line two baking sheets with foil.
-Peel the sweet potatoes and butternut squash.
-Chop both the squash and potatoes into cubes of equal size. My cubes were a little over a half inch on each side. Place the cubes in a large bowl.
-Peel the garlic and add the cloves to the bowl.
-Chop the stalks off of the cauliflower and place the florets into the large bowl with the butternut squash and sweet potatoes.
-Drizzle a little bit of olive oil, about 2 tbsp, over the vegetables. Add salt, pepper and parsley to taste. You want just enough oil/s+p/parsley to lightly coat the contents. Stir the vegetables around until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
-Place the vegetables on the two baking sheets and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes. Times will vary depending on the oven, so make sure you keep an eye on the ingredients. If there is a little charring, that’s fine, but you don’t want too much.
-Once the cooking time has elapsed, remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and set aside to cool for about five minutes.
-While the roasted ingredients are cooling, in a sauté pan, sauté the chopped onion in a couple teaspoons of olive oil (you really don’t need that much oil) and salt and pepper to taste on medium heat. Cook for about five minutes, or until the onion appears translucent.
-Add the roasted vegetables, sautéed onion, and two cups of chicken stock to a blender. Blend for about 15 seconds and then add the other cup of chicken stock. Continue to blend until the ingredients are well incorporated—about 2 minutes. Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to break up the blending process up in half. If you have an immersion blender, I suggest using it!
-Pour the blended ingredients into a large pot and place on a burner with low to medium heat.
-Pour in the two cups of chicken broth, add a little bit of salt, and stir the soup until the ingredients are well blended. This soup is very thick, so if you want a thinner consistency, I suggest adding in some more chicken broth or water.
-Let the soup cook covered on low to medium heat for about 7 minutes. You don’t want to bring the soup to a boil, so if it starts to bubble, you know the soup is ready.
-Ladle into a bowl and enjoy!