“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree” Emily Bronte. If you’re a fan like me, you are rejoicing! Finally, welcome fall! Cool nights, crisp mornings, and football, pumpkin spice LOL. I get it, it is a bit overdone. OK, but Autumn is AMAZING! Take the time to slow down and enjoy the season, because if you blink, sleep or say, “I’ll wait until next weekend”, you may miss it! Here are some great ways to get out there and fall for fall:
- Farmers Markets: Get out there and hit the markets and farmers’ stands. This is a FABULOUS time of year to make it a family day and shop some fresh fall produce; apples, pumpkins, mushrooms. Fall is all about flavor rooting in our glorious earth! Check out this site for local stops:
- More soup for you: When temperatures drop it’s the perfect time for SOUP! Throw some of the great stuff that you got from the market in there with some fresh herbs and spices. Squash, kale, veggies…YUM! And bonus, soup is packed with nutrient goodness and is amazing for your body!
- Refocus your goals: Re-energize and refocus on everything you want to achieve. Sit with your intentions and what you need to reach your goals. Here is a pretty amazing exercise to try, click here: http://www.integrativenutrition.com/blog/2015/09/the-one-simple-tool-you-need-to-get-stuff-done
- Your bed is calling you: Go to bed earlier! The days, sadly, are getting shorter. This is a great time to take advantage of your body’s natural sleep rhythms by hitting the sack early. The extra time will give a boost to the immune system and energy levels too!
- One foot in front of the other: Get outside! It’s sweater weather! Go outside; take a walk, a hike! Hit a trail (wine trail?). Whatever! Just go! Enjoy this beautiful picturesque time of year.
Indulge in the season and relish in all of its beauty! Below is a delish soup recipe, a bit adventurous, but amazing! TRY it and let me know what you think!!!
Roasted Squash Soup with Almond Cream & Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
Yield: 8-10 servings
- 2 cups sliced almonds
- 3 tablespoons safflower oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Roasted Squash Soup:
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread
- 1 cup diced white onion
- 1 cup chopped apple
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary
- 1/2 lemongrass stalk, split
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 cups vegetable stock
- spiced pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds, hulled
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- To make the cream, the day before serving, put the almonds in a bowl and add enough water to cover them. Cover and let soak overnight in the refrigerator.
- Drain the nuts and transfer to a blender. Add the oil, lemon juice, salt, and water and blend until smooth, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the chives, and set aside. The cream will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- To make the soup, heat the oil and buttery spread in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, apple, cinnamon, chipotle powder, sage, rosemary, lemongrass, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
- Add the squash to the pot and stir to coat, about 3 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a boil, decrease the heat, and simmer, covered, until the squash is tender, about 40 minutes. Remove the lemongrass stalk and let the soup cool.
- Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Or blend the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. This will have to be done in batches. The soup can be made ahead of time up to this point. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- To prepare the pumpkin seeds, combine the seeds, oil, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl and mix together. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 5 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the seeds are lightly browned.
- To serve, pour the warm soup into bowls. Add a dollop of the almond cream and sprinkle with the roasted pumpkin seeds.
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