Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

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Tonight’s soup was so creamy and smooth, it was simply warming and delicious. Butternut squash can be a bit of a pain to prepare for soup, so my favorite way to do it is by roasting it first. Not only does it make the tough skin slip right off, but the roasting heightens the sweet and nutty flavours of the squash. As a nice added touch, roast the squash seeds and use them as a tasty garnish.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, sliced in half
  • 2 medium-sized onions, peeled and diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2” piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, plus a pinch more for seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for drizzling

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds using a spoon. Rinse the seeds and remove as much pulp from them as you can then lay them out onto a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over them along with a pinch of sea salt and ground cumin. Cook in oven for 5 minutes (careful not to burn them). Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over squash and sweet potato, add a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Place squash cut side down onto a baking sheet. The sweet potatoes can be laid out onto the same baking sheet.
  4. Cook sweet potatoes for approx. 20 minutes or until fork tender. Cook squash for approx. 50 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  5. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and ginger and sauté for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  6. Now that the squash has cooled slightly, remove the peel, roughly cut the squash into large cubes and add into the pot along with the sweet potato.
  7. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let the soup simmer for 20 minutes, making sure the squash is tender.
  8. Using a handheld blender, puree the soup. Add coconut milk and stir.
  9. Garnish with roasted squash seeds and serve. Enjoy!


Brazil's Secret Smoothie: Açai Na Tigela

Brazil is on the map this summer as they are hosting the World Cup so I thought it would be appropriate to write about Brazil’s finest dish: Açai na Tigela. Okay, that is totally my opinion, but that’s because it is delicious! I made this decision after spending a few months in Brazil’s northeastern parts. After discovering this smoothie, I ate one a day. I wanted to eat four.

You have got to really love smoothies to make this one so if you are not ready to take smoothies to the next level, do not read any further. This is for the die hards, the smoothie fanatics, for those of you who would eat smoothies for breakfast, lunch and dinner if it were legal and/or socially acceptable.

This is the real deal. It’s glory in a bowl and will fulfill you from head to toe. It’s got power and vigor. It’ll sustain you for the day and energize you for life. It’ll give you superpowers. Seriously. Plus it contains aphrodisiacs. ¡Hola señor! That’s Spanish, but you know what I mean.

The Açai berry (pronounced a-sigh-EE) is considered a superfood and a powerhouse in the berry family. It’s basically edible gold. But let’s not go crazy on these guys and eat them all day, every day. They come from the Amazon – not exactly local, ya know?

Açai Na Tigela: Recipe

This smoothie is made of an Açai blend topped with granola, banana, nuts, seeds, and honey. Yum yum. It is quite possibly the most incredible thing you’ll ever lay your eyes on. Brazilians love this stuff.

Açai na Tigela means Açai in a Bowl so please, for the love of Brazil, do not drink this smoothie out of a cup or on the go. It needs to be respected for its beauty and appreciated for its bounty. This dish is always served in a bowl and eaten with a spoon. Always.

Ingredients:

  • 100g Açai pulp (I used a brand called Sambazon)
  • 1 handful mixed frozen berries
  • 1 Banana
  • ½ Cup Almond/Soy/Rice milk

**Toppings: **

  • 1/3 Cup granola
  • 1 Chopped Banana
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp of your favorite nuts/seeds

Directions:

Pour the smoothie in a bowl (it should be a thick consistency) then add the toppings and enjoy!

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