roasted butternut squash and sweet potato soup (vegan, sugar free)

When the temperatures are in the single digits, you need this in your bowl!

I love soups…Simple to make, easy on the budget and generous in quantity. I dreamed this one up late last year when I was thinking about Thanksgiving, seasonal vegetables and something festive.

Normally, I like soups where I can just throw everything in the pot, but roasting the ingredients for this soup was a must. Although it’s an extra step, it’s worth it…Roasting caramelizes the sugars in the veggies and fruit and adds a richness to the flavor.

And when you top it off with a swirl of full fat coconut cream and toasted cinnamon pecan sprinkles…

Second helpings, please!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup 

1 butternut squash, cubed
3 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
3 garlic cloves
1 onion, sliced roughly
1 apple, cored and sliced roughly
1 cup unsalted vegetable stock
4-5 cups water
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme
dashes ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Place all the veggies and the apple slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

2. Roast at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes-1 hour or until edges begin to brown and the squash and potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven.

3. Place the roasted veggies and apple slices in a large stock pot along with the vegetable stock and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Use a full immersion blender, food processor or standard blender to blend the soup mixture until smooth. If using a standard blender or food processor, you may need to do this in several batches.

5. Return to stock pot and add seasonings. Simmer on low heat for another 15 to 20 minutes.

6. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, and if desired, top with a swirl of full fat coconut cream and toasted cinnamon pecan sprinkles (recipe below)

Cinnamon Pecan Sprinkles
1/2 c pecans, toasted
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/16 tsp salt
1/2 tsp olive oil

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. be careful not to over blend or the pecans will release their oils. leftovers can be stored in an airtight jar in the cupboard or fridge.

For a simple way of toasting pecans or other nuts, see this tip.

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6-ingredient Cauliflower soup (vegan,anti candida, gluten free, paleo) 

cauliflower soupToday is Day 4 of the full Sugar Detox Challenge. I’m also adding the twist of following the anti-candida diet which you can learn more about here.

One of the keys to succeeding with any diet change, is preparation. Mental and physical.

So much of what and how we eat is tied up in our emotions, our memories and our culture that breaking from your traditional diet can be tough. I’ve found the best way to mentally prepare for a diet changhttps://shebloomflourish.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1024&action=edite is praying about it and leaning on God to get me through. But I also put that faith in action by researching recipes and articles…you could say it’s “thought for food.

To prepare physically, there are several practical steps to take to increase success:

  • Remove the foods that are a source of temptation: This is key if you really struggle with giving into cravings. If it’s not in your cupboards or fridge, it’s not very likely that you’ll run to the store to feed the temptation.
  • Meal planning: Although I always recommend planning meals -including snacks – because it saves time, mental stress and money, this step is especially important when you are following a new diet and dealing with foods that may be unfamiliar to you.
  • Meal prep:This is meal planning’s often overlooked partner and an area I still need to grow in. Meal prepping, especially for snacks that require more than grabbing a handful of something, helps avoid the pitfall of reaching for whatever is most convenient, but not diet-friendly.

Four days into the anti-candida diet and I’m grateful for taking these steps. The hardest part so far is not reaching for my usual standbys of raisins or carrots and hummus. All healthy, but the higher sugar and carb count counts them out for the strictest part of the anti-candida diet.

Now on to the cauliflower soup…

As part of my meal prepping, I made a HUGE pot of this over the weekend, which takes care of my lunches for this week and most of next.

It’s simple to make but packed with flavor and other goodness that eating cauliflower, onions, garlic and curry bring.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the cauliflower soup recipe

cauliflower soup

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

Cook Time: 45-50 minutes

Serves: 6-8

 

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • dashes of freshly ground pepper

Instructions

Saute onions and garlic in a little water in a large stockpot until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add cauliflower and seasonings and add more water until it’s not quite covering the cauliflower.

Bring to a boil, then simmer until the cauliflower is very tender, about 35-40 minutes.

Cool slightly and add to a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth. You will probably have to do this several times, so make sure you have an extra pot on hand to transfer the blended soup into.

Recipe Notes

*Eliminate pepper if following the anti-candida diet

*Freezes well.

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jolly good potato & leek soup (vegan, oil free)

100_2326With a new baby welcomed into the monarchy and surprising election results, the Brits have been in the headlines of late. So it seems rather timely to post a recipe that I often associate with England.

I have a soft spot for the UK since we were blessed to live there for a few years when I was growing up, coupled with the fact that one of my grandmother’s haled from England, a war bride of the 1940’s.

grandpa nan
my grandpa & nan on their honeymoon in England

The first month we lived there, we had tea and cookies every night.

Back in March, I shared this recipe for vegan cabbage rolls, a nod to the Polish side of my heritage. As much as I’d like to veganize one of the more traditional British meals which my “Nan” often made – roast beef and Yorkshire puddings – it just wouldn’t be the same. Instead, I’ll turn to another recipe traditional to the British Isles…potato and leek soup.

This is a recipe handed down to me from my mom and is super simple to make. As with many soups, it tastes better the second day, so consider making it ahead of time to let the flavors fully develop.potato leek soupCLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the potato & leek soup recipe

jolly good potato & leek soup

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

Cook Time: 30-40 minutes

Serves: 10-12

Ingredients

  • 2 medium leeks, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 7 medium organic russet potatoes, peeled & diced
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • Dashes freshly ground pepper
  • water

Instructions

Sauté leeks and onions in a large stock pot in a little water until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add potatoes and add water until potatoes are loosely floating.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, add seasonings and simmer until potatoes can be mashed until smooth.

Add more water if necessary to achieve desired consistency

Recipe Notes

Organic potatoes are best to use since potatoes have a high pesticide content.

The soup tends to thicken as it sits, so you may need to add more water upon reheating.

The consistency for this soup that I like best is one that is easily pourable without being too watery.

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sweet potato & lentil soup (vegan, oil-free)

2009-01-19 17.49.37The first vegan cookbook I ever purchased was Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson*. It was during the season in my life that my oldest son likes to refer to as “the time when we weren’t eating healthy.” I refer to it as the time when I didn’t realize the benefits of eating a plant-based diet.

But the Lord knew He would bring me to this place, so He gradually encouraged me to go meat-free on more than just Monday. I started by exploring vegan and vegetarian cookbooks in our local library until I stumbled upon Vegan Planet*.

One of my favorite recipes from the book is Robin’s “Indian-spiced Lentil Soup” on page 78.

Although soups are most often thought of in the fall and winter, I make them year round. Especially when spring shows its chillier side.
100_1753

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100_1757And I think this soup is especially spring-like with the bright addition of cilantro, an herb that flourishes in cooler temperatures.

2009-01-19 17.12.30Spring, summer, fall, winter, here is my version of this sweet potato lentil soup.

swplentilsoup CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the sweet potato lentil soup recipe

sweet potato lentil soup

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

Cook Time: 60-70 minutes

Ingredients (6-8)

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled & diced
  • 1-14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 ½ cups dried brown lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, minced
  • ½-3/4 tsp. salt
  • Dashes of pepper

Instructions

In a stock pot, sauté onions, celery and garlic in a little water until onion is translucent (about 5 minutes)

Add sweet potatoes and sauté 5 minutes more.

Add water, tomatoes and seasonings except the cilantro. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 50 to 55 minutes until the lentils and sweet potato are cooked through.

Add cilantro and cook 10 minutes more.

Recipe Notes

As with most soups, this one tastes even better the second day when the flavors have fully developed.

This soup freezes well, so make some extra and keep on hand when you need a meal in a pinch.

 *I am an Amazon associate. If you purchase the cookbook through this link, it will provide a small credit to my account.

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