Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. It’s delightful AND autumnal.

IMG_9124It’s been a while my food-loving friends, and I apologize! Late summer was filled with travels and basking in abundant laziness with my Master’s degree finished. Sure, I’m working full time, but man oh man, days off are sweet when they don’t have to be full of lectures and papers. I’ve been cooking all the while, but haven’t felt much like taking photos or writing anything. After a long respite, I’m happy to share this tasty little dish with you all.

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Ooooh, fall. How I love your colors and many squashes.

This soup is very simple to make, filled with spicy and sweet notes, and smooth as butta (as in buttanut…). It’s great for warming up after a chilly day outside.IMG_9109

What you need:

4 Tbsp olive oil

1 butternut squash, halved and roasted

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large apple, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

3 tbsp curry powder

1.5 cups de puy, brown, or red lentils, cooked

4 cups water or vegetable broth

Salt and pepper to tasteIMG_9120

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and prepare the butternut by slicing it lengthwise, removing seeds, rubbing with olive oil, and laying flesh down on a baking sheet. The roasting will take 25-30 min, but it’ll be done when it’s soft and the flesh side is browned.

At the same time, cook your lentils by adding 2 cups of water to a pot, bringing to gentle boil, and adding rinsed lentils. Cover and let simmer until tender.IMG_9121

While the squash is roasting, add the chopped garlic, onion, and apple to a soup pot with the olive oil. Saute until lightly browned, then add curry powder and brown for 1 more minute. Add the water or veggie broth to deglaze.

Simmer until the squash is ready, then chop the squash into large chunks (including the skin). Add squash to the pot. Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth in batches (or use an immersion blender). Return blended soup to pot, simmer, and salt and pepper to taste. Add cooked lentils. Eat and be happy!IMG_9130

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Butternut Chickpea “Fritters” with Tzatziki (Gluten-free!)

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Last night, when thinking about dinner, I found myself looking at a butternut squash and a bunch of dried chickpeas. Common conundrum, I know.  I was also very in the mood for something akin to falafel, but a little healthier. So, these wee fritters came to be. Cumin, garlic, shallots, chickpeas, and the smooth creaminess of  roasted butternut all baked or pan-fried…well, it’s a perfect easy midweek dinner with some greens and sauce. They’re also completely veganizable simply by skipping the tzatziki.

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And so, what you need:

1 butternut squash, roasted

1 cup chickpeas, soaked and cooked

1 shallot, minced

2/3 cup rice flour (and some for coating fritters)

2 Tbsp cumin

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

pinch of chili flakes or cayenne

For Tzatziki:

1/2 cup goat yogurt

1/5 cucumber chopped

juice of half of one lemon

1 Tbsp cilantro

To start, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, half the squash, scoop out seeds, and place each half cut side down on a baking sheet.  Bake until soft (about 45 minutes), and scoop out flesh. In a large mixing bowl, mix chickpeas, squash, shallot, cumin, cilantro, rice flour, and chile. The mixture keeps well in an airtight container for 2-3 days, so can be prepped in advance.

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Spread rice flour on a cutting board, form the squash mixture into balls, and roll until well coated in rice flour.P1020828

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Place in oven, spray with olive oil, and cook for about 30 minutes or so. I also pan fried a few by melting 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan, and placing 4 balls of butternut squash mixture in the pan until crispy on each side.

While baking or pan-frying, mix the tzatziki by putting all ingredients in a blender (again, the magic bullet handles this like a champion).

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Dip, dress a salad, or eat a fritter plain. They’re simple and magically delicious!