This past Friday I was lucky enough to visit the Xhibition Kitchen located within Stetson Hall West at Northeastern University. I had been anticipating this event for WEEKS. The guest was none other than my favorite blogger Jessica from How Sweet It Is! Read her blog, she is such a talented cook and writer. I laugh out loud reading her posts and want to be her best friend.
I had pre-ordered Jessica‘s cookbook ‘Seriously Delish‘, read through all 298 pages and marked off which recipes I wanted to make right away. So off I went, cookbook in hand, to meet my all time favorite blogger and recipe creator. I wish I could paste in every iPhone emoji right here to show my true excitement about this!! Instead here is the picture I took with Jessica that day- she even signed my book!
One recipes I had marked off in the cookbook was for Amaretto Butternut Squash Soup with Cinnamon Toast Croutons. I was so excited when I found out this was one of the dishes Jessica was cooking during the demo demo AND that we got to taste it. I was blown away with the ease of the recipe and the depth of flavor – it just screamed IT’S FALL!!
Here are all my photos from the demo:
If you have been following along the past few weeks you know I have been loving my 21 Day Fix journey. I am actually on my 2nd round of the program and will be excited to share this rounds results come October 13th.
This is not a diet.
It is a lifestyle change that has completely changed how I feel mentally and physically and I love every second of it! What has made it the most fun for me is taking recipes and tweaking them to work with the 21 Day Fix yet still be packed full of flavor.
Since this is more of a long term goal for me I do splurge here and there (hello movie theater popcorn this past Sunday) but it is not every day and the splurges are small. In this recipe I splurged by making the Cinnamon Toast Croutons that are part of Jessica’s recipe. They are out of this world and take this soup to a whole new level. Feel free to leave them out to truly make this 21 Day Fix-approved.
As mentioned in previous posts, the Shakeology shakes that come with the 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack really do help curb all cravings so it is rare for me to crave sweets or really salty junk food now. It’s a miracle!
Starting Monday, October 13, 2014 I will be co-hosting a 21 Day Fix Challenge Group on Facebook and am always looking for more people who want to lose weight and learn portion control all while having fun and sharing great tips and recipes with other people with similar goals in mind! I lost 7lbs and 9.5 inches during my first round of the 21 Day Fix and could not have done it without the support of my amazing group 🙂
Can you believe this this amazing looking soup is 21 Day Fix-approved?
- 2 slices of whole grain bread, cubed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
- 1/4 cup amaretto
- 4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
- 2 cups organic vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons raw slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk, plus extra for drizzling
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 scallions, sliced
- Preheat your oven to 400 F.
- Cut 2 slices of whole grain bread into cubes. Spread them on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown and crunchy. Let the croutons cool on the baking sheet and set aside.
- Dice up 1 small sweet onion.
- Mince 2 large garlic cloves.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or coconut oil) over a medium low heat and add the onions. Saute until soft and translucent, approx. 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Pour in the 1/4 cup of amaretto and cook down for 5 minutes until all of the alcohol has cooked off the liquid has reduced by half, stirring occasionally.
- While the amaretto is cooking down peel and cube your butternut squash (or do this in advance to save time!)
- Add to the pot with the onion, garlic and amaretto mixture along with 2 cups of organic vegetable stock, 2 cups of water and 4 fresh sage leaves. Cover the pot and reduce the heat slightly.
- Let simmer until the squash is soft, approx. 20 minutes.
- While the squash is simmering add 2 tablespoons of raw slivered almonds to a small pan. Heat over a medium-low heat until they start to turn golden brown and release their flavor. Immediately remove from the heat and set aside.
- When the squash is done simmering remove the pan from the heat. Remove the sage leaves and carefully pour the mixture into a blender (you might have to do this in batches depending on how large your blender is).
- Puree until creamy and transfer back into the pot you cooked the squash in. Keep warm over a low heat.
- Stir in a 1/2 cup of canned coconut milk and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Serve with a few extra drops of coconut milk, toasted almonds and sliced scallions.