Butternut Squash Cashew Soup

I remember when my best friend Rachel and I went to Chicago and on our last day there we went out to a fancy dinner at a fancy restaurant and did the “chef’s choice” meal. It was like 5 courses of whatever the chef decided to make for us. It was the first time I’d ever tried ahi tuna and it was the first time I’d ever had butternut squash. It was a creamy butternut squash soup in an espresso-sized cup and it was so amazing; I wondered, how had I never had butternut squash soup before??

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I wanted to make it for myself. It sure took me long enough to give it a try…Like 10 years! But finally, I tried. I searched for awhile to find the right recipe. I remembered it being pretty sweet and I found a lot of recipes that claimed it was so sweet it could almost be a dessert. That wasn’t quite what I was looking for. I wanted savory, with a hint of sweet.

I found this recipe:

It sounded pretty good to me! I knew I’d add a little bit of extra things here and there that I had seen from other recipes I liked. For example, a few recipes called or a pinch of cayenne pepper and I LOVED that idea.

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Other than that I followed the recipe pretty closely, except for the bay leaf (didn’t have one) and I added cayenne. I put it all in my Dutch Oven and let it simmer down. I used my immersion blender (which I LOVE) to puree it up.

I taste-tested the soup after pureeing it and added a pinch more of the cayenne pepper. Once I felt like it was good, I dished it up. I thought it was a little odd that the recipe called it “Butternut Squash with Toasted Cashews” when the cashews were really just a garnish. I read the recipe a few times to make sure I wasn’t skipping a step. Sure, the cashews were nice and added a nice crunchy texture to the soup, but I don’t know that it added anything else beyond that. I originally thought the cashews would be ground up and mixed in.

The texture was super creamy. It was a little too close to baby food/applesauce in consistency and I could have added more milk to it to make it more soupy.

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I served the soup with a green salad (swiss chard, spinach and kale) with Bleu cheese and a raspberry vinaigrette dressing. I also had one large cheesy kaiser roll that I split in half for Michael and I to share.

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Michael and I both liked the soup a lot. It was pretty easy to make. I would add more spice to it next time I think. I got 4 servings out of this recipe and that made it around 150-165 calories a serving. Super low but it was filling and I didn’t feel like I was deprived of food afterwards or hungry in an hour.

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I had some leftovers that I took to work for lunch on my two rest days (there weren’t enough calories in it to eat on a gym day). It was just as good the next day. A little bit of spice, but not too much. It was creamy and the best part— SUPER filling for less than 200 calories!

I will be experimenting more in the future trying to find the perfect squash soup recipe. Do you have a favorite? Please share!

Kitty Therapy

After my nightmarish doctor appointment I took my sobbing self over to my good friend Star’s house for dinner. She was my neighbor for years and I already had dinner plans with her.

I definitely needed a shoulder to cry on last night. She was a good listener and tried to cheer me up. And she fed me good food.

Star is an excellent cook. I’ve posted recipes from her on my blog before–when I could. She tends to just “create” recipes from scratch so it’s often difficult for me to recreate them.

Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted butternut squash mashed with a potato masher

Chicken Broth

Curry Powder

Ground Mustard

1 cube of soy cream cheese

Cinnamon

It was delicious and creamy! I loved the soup. I have some leftovers too and cannot wait to eat it. The soup wasn’t spicy and it wasn’t overly sweet either.

Curry Tuna Salad

Chopped Celery

Hardboiled egg

Chopped yellow pepper

Chopped Sweet Onion

Cranberries

Curry Powder

Dried Mustard

Regular Mayo

Tuna

I topped my salad greens with the tuna. It hit the spot and filled me up.

I was trying to think positive and remember all the good things in my life. It’s hard with physical injuries because I tend to get tunnel vision and don’t see the positives. Good food helped.

For dessert she had dark chocolate and made some chamomile tea.

Cats are amazing creatures. They seem to know when their humans need some love and comfort. Star’s cat Ra is a humongous kitty.

Ra rivals Fat Kitty in affection-giving. He’s a cuddle bug just like my boy!

For the rest of this post, enjoy some Kitty Love! It did wonders for me. I hope it makes everyone else happy today!

Fat Kitty

Doesn’t Fat Kitty look tiny compared to Ra?!

QUESTION: Are your animals sensitive to your moods and illnesses/injuries?