Kid-Friendly · Recipes · Soup · Vegetarian · Whole30

Ultra-Faux Pho

This is… this is not even fake pho. This is a supremely lazy/fast approach to a slightly-influenced-by-Vietnamese-Pho dinner, but one that always goes off without a hitch in my house and can pretty much be done with any veg and meat you have. So here it is, my ultra-faux pho.

Your ingredients list can really go any which way you like, but here are the basics for 2-3 servings:

1 quart chicken, beef, or mushroom broth (or half and half meat/veg)
1 lb meat (meatballs, sausage, shredded chicken, etc)
1 vegetable that you can make noodles out of (zucchini, sweet potato)
1-2 handfuls green leafy vegetables (baby bok choy, spinach, etc)
1-2 handfuls chopped mushrooms (optional)
4-6 eggs
Togarashi, to taste

Using a spiralizer, julienne peeler, or just a regular vegetable peeler, turns your noodling vegetable into said noodles. You can also buy pre-noodled zucchini or sweet potato – they are increasingly available in grocery stores (Trader Joe’s sells sweet potato ribbons and they are fantastic).

Continue reading “Ultra-Faux Pho”

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Beef · CrockPot · Lamb · Poultry · Recipes · Soup · Vegetarian

Two Years: My Top 20 Recipes!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been TWO YEARS since I first created SlowCarbSnacktime. It’s been a long road learning how to eat properly and fuel my body, and there’s still a very long journey ahead, but it has been such an amazing and educational adventure so far and I’ve come up with so many healthy slow carb recipes along the way. There’s many more to come, but for now, I’m celebrating two years of SlowCarbSnacktime with my top 20 recipes.

All 20 of these recipes are grain, gluten, sugar, corn, potato, rice, and soy-free. Two recipes use some dairy, but I’ll make sure to note that in the list. I will also note paleo and whole30 compliant recipes (they are obviously all slow carb compliant). Items marked “vegetarian” are either vegetarian or can easily be made so by changing an ingredient such as swapping out chicken stock for vegetable stock.

  1. Amazeballs: Super Scallion Turkey Meatballs – paleo/whole30 – I used ground pork rinds instead of bread crumbs to give these meatballs the fluffiness they need without the carbs you don’t want.
  2. B^3: Butternut Bacon Bitespaleo/whole30 – It may take a few minutes to wrap these precious little pieces of squash in strips of bacon, but I promise it’s worth every second of your time.
    IMG_20140101_092322
  3. Butternut Squeek Soupvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – There are few things better than a hot butternut squash soup on a cold winter day… this soup with butternut squash plus leeks is one of them.
  4. Chicken Liver Mousse – dairy – Okay, I’m not going to lie, there’s a lot of butter in this recipe, but it is one of the easiest things to make for a classy dish to stun your guests without sacrificing protein. Also tastes great with eggs for breakfast, or by itself on a very large spoon…

    Beautifully set. Dig in!
    Beautifully set. Dig in!
  5. Decontamination: Ginger Chicken Souppaleo/whole30 – The perfect comeback to any cold, my chicken soup is infused with a ton of ginger to help combat the ickiest of feelings. A favorite of my dad’s to fight back against chronic sinus infections.
  6. Duck Duck Asparaguspaleo/whole30 – Crispy asparagus oven-roasted in duck fat. The way to my heart is through my stomach.
  7. Easy Peas-y: Split Pea Soup w/ Sausage – One of The Boyfriend’s favorites, I boil the sausage in chicken stock and then use that stock in the soup. So rich, so good.
    IMG_20131118_102852
  8. “Gazpacheaux” Gazpachovegetarian, paleo/whole30 – This cold tomato soup is a perfect snack to beat the summer heat or spoon into shot glasses for a classier kind of party.
  9. Hold the Sizzle: Fiery Chicken Fajitas – paleo/whole30 – This spicy little stir fry is a great option for a protein-packed dinner for two and tastes great with strips of beef too!
  10. Holy Crap! Garlic Soupvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – Over 20 cloves of garlic and a whole head of cauliflower into the pot for a super smooth, bright white soup.
  11. Kimchi Fried Cauli-Rice – paleo/whole30 – Cauliflower rice, kimchi, eggs, and bacon fat. What more could you want?
  12. Lamb Chop’s Play Along: One Baaaaad Burgerpaleo/whole30 – This ground lamb burger with fresh rosemary is so juicy, sticking it on a bun would just be a waste.
  13. Perfect ‘Stachio Guacvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – My copy cat version of the stunning guacamole at Jose Garces’ El Vez. Never pay $14 for guac again.
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  14. Red Lentils are Dal-iciousvegetarian – My take on a traditional Indian dal, prepared in a slow cooker using red lentils and a ton of fresh spinach. I crave this all the time and it’s a great dish entirely on its own, paired with a meaty protein, or even reheated in a pan with some eggs!
  15. Rosemary Bone Brothcrockpot, paleo/whole30 – This slow-cooked broth is made from beef soup/marrow bones and cooks on low for nearly two days to extract all the vitamin goodness from the bones. When it’s cold, it looks like jell-o, but warm it up for a mineral-packed cup of life. Seriously, I know how cheesy that sounds, just try it. It’s amazing.
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  16. Saturday Morning Shakshuka / Date Night Zoodlesvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – These two quick dishes pair great together for a meal so tasty, you won’t even realize there’s no meat!
  17. Sweet Hundos: Oven-Roasted Cherry Tomato Saucevegetarian, paleo/whole30 – This super easy tomato sauce is made with “Sweet 100’s” cherry tomatoes and is unlike any sauce I’ve tasted before. I just couldn’t get enough and ate half the jar with a spoon. Serve with just about anything.

    Mmm saucy!
    Mmm saucy!
  18. Top Secret Deviled Eggs / Devilish Egg Salad – My go-to potluck dish and an easy alternative for cravings at home.
  19. Tiny Viking Funerals – cheat day, dairy – Jalapenos stuffed with chorizo and cream cheese. A cheat day treat guaranteed to knock the socks off all your friends.
    20140209_1734100
  20. Whatsername Fish Tacos – Chickpea flour-crusted tilapia fillets and large lettuce leaves make for this delicate but delicious taco dinner. You won’t even miss the tortillas.
Recipes · Soup

Turnip For What: Winter Mushroom Soup

Woo-hoo! The first semester of grad school is finally over. New recipes posted created by slowcarbsnacktime, 1/4 MHA. No but seriously, I finished the semester with straight As for the first time since sixth grade and I am feeling so relieved and ready to write.

If you follow me on instagram or facebook, you may have heard that our Whole30 adventures went exceedingly well. The Boyfriend and I each lost about 10 lbs and he is down nearly two inches on his waist! We just started a new lifting program so I didn’t expect to see much in the way of inches lost, but all my jiggly bits are definitely less jiggly. Bonus: a lot of my chronic stomach issues seem to have disappeared on Whole30 as well (I am guessing because of sneaky soy lecithin hidden everywhere that we weren’t so strict about before). For this reason, we’ve decided to give strict paleo a whirl and see how it stands up to slow carb. For the time being, I will do my best to create and share recipes compliant with all three – slow carb, paleo, and whole30 – but you should always make sure to check my ingredients anyway just to be safe.

One of my first winter break creations was this damn delicious mushroom soup that came together so quickly and paired great with The Boyfriend’s pan seared pork chops.

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For this recipe you will need:
1 large pot
Immersion blender
Vegetable peeler

Ingredients: 
1.5 lbs white button mushrooms, sliced
1 lg yellow onion, diced
1 turnip, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 can coconut milk (Thai Kitchen)
2 tsp white vinegar
2 qts (8 cups) chicken or beef stock

Seasoning:
2-3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp celery salt
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp sage

Notes:

#1 – pretty much any mushroom will do, but I’ve been on a huge button mushroom kick lately and they’re also super cheap, so that’s what I used.

#2 – if possible, get the Thai Kitchen brand coconut milk (in the red can). For whatever reason, the milk is separated with solid cream at the top and the liquid at the bottom. I only added the cream and it was amazing. Mushrooms and onions already give off a ton of liquid and with two quarts of chicken stock, we didn’t need any more. Just adding the cream (all of it) made for a super creamy and rich soup, completely dairy free. A regular can of coconut milk will do just fine (in the can, not the carton), but I highly recommend that brand if you can swing it.

#3 – if you’ve seen some of my soup recipes in the past, you may have noticed I’m a big fan of blended soups. It’s a trick my step-grandma used to pull on us when we were kids to eat her (seriously delicious) healthy soups without picking out ingredients we didn’t like. It’s a trend that stuck and my go-to state for soups, but if you want a bit more chunk, just chop your mushrooms and turnip into small bite-sized pieces and ditch the Immersion blender.

#4 – I used chicken stock today because it’s all we had at home, but I suspect it would be even more delicious with beef broth. This soup (and most others on my blog) can also be made vegan in a pinch by subbing in vegetable broth.

Recipe:

Peel the turnip, removing ends, and chop into large chunks. Thoroughly wash all mushrooms with water. Seriously, they grow in poo, wash them well. Transfer mushrooms to a large bowl. Dice the onion and add it to the bowl of mushrooms.

Drizzle 1-2 tbsp of oil over the mushroom-onion mixture and toss gently to coat.

Melt 1 tbsp of ghee or olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onion to pot and allow to gently fry, stirring occasionally (to ensure even browning) until reduced by half – about ten minutes. As I said above, mushrooms and onions hold a lot of water, so when you first add them to the pot it will take up a lot of space. As the mushrooms cook, they will give up a lot of this water and shrink down taking up half as much space in the pot as they did when raw. Add ~1 tbsp granulated garlic.

Add the chopped turnip to the pot and 1tsp of salt, mixing again to make sure everything got a little bit of time on the bottom of the pot to brown up. This caramelization packs a ton of flavor and will add some serious depth to your soup.

Add in two quarts of stock, mix again, and bring to a boil – stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and allow soup to simmer for 20-25 minutes before adding the coconut cream/milk. Remove from heat and let cream melt before blending the soup. Blend to desired consistency and return to low heat.

Add 1tsp salt, cracked pepper, and celery salt, and sage to taste and allow to simmer for another 10-15 minutes, until soup thickens.

Sometimes a few pieces miss the blender so if the soup isn’t smooth enough for you, now is the time to blend it again (remove the pot from the stove to do this).

Return pot to heat to help marry flavors. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve immediately. Finish with truffle salt or a swirl of coconut cream (optional).

Allow to cool completely before storing in the refrigerator. To reheat, add desired amount of cold soup to a small pot. Bring to a low boil on medium-high heat and serve.

Beef · CrockPot · Health · Kid-Friendly · Recipes · Soup · Whole30

Rosemary Bone Broth

I have written, deleted, and re-written this post like 10 times now. There is just so much information about the endless benefits of drinking bone broth, I’m kicking myself for not trying it earlier. It’s delicious, it’s super easy, and it’s really really good for you – what more do you need? Just ask your butcher for a few pounds of beef soup bones – femurs or knuckles – and get cookin!

No, but seriously – the list of health benefits is astounding. Bone broth is packed with nutrients and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium as well as amino acids like glycine and proline which promote a healthy gut, and aid in digestion, growth, even muscle repair. I could write about all the good stuff in bone broth for ages, but let’s just get to how you can make it at home and then you can see all the benefits for yourself!

Special Equipment/Appliances: 
Large slow cooker/crock pot
Fine mesh strainer
Cheese cloth (optional but recommended)
Mason jar or other glass container(s), for storage

Ingredients: 
2 lbs beef soup/marrow bones (femur or knuckle)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
~ 4 L cold water (about 16 cups)

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Add marrow bones to slow cooker. Cover with water by at least 3″ – this took about 3.5L (~14 cups) for my 5 quart crockpot. Add 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 3 large sprigs fresh rosemary (the rosemary will be removed after the first 12 hours, so if you are using dried herbs or smaller pieces, I recommend placing them in a spice bag or using a string to tie them). Note: Do not, I repeat DO NOT, add salt. As the broth reduces, the salt will likely become too concentrated and will ruin you broth – it is best to add other herbs and seasoning later, in individual portions, when serving.

Set on low for 36-48 hours.

After the first 12 hours, remove the rosemary. Left in for longer, it will become bitter and start to disintegrate.

After 24 hours, add back some of the water that has evaporated. You still want to keep the water line about 3″ over the top of the bones.

The longer you let it simmer, the better it will be, but I am impatient and only managed 42 hours before I had to have it!

Line your mesh strainer with a thin piece of cheesecloth (one or two layers) and place it over a large bowl or mason jar. My strainer is quite large so I had to do this over a bowl and then pour it into the mason jars for storage.

Using a large ladle, run the bone broth through the strainer and cheesecloth – this ensures there will be no muck or bone fragments in your pretty broth! If you used a separate bowl like I did, carefully transfer your broth into your storage containers (I used large 1/2 gallon and quart mason jars). If you have a smaller strainer, you can place this over the top of your mason jar to strain it one final time – not necessary, but certainly won’t hurt.

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Leave uncovered on the counter to cool. As the fat comes to the top and solidifies, you can remove it with a spoon if so compelled, but it will render back down when microwaved so feel free to leave it in if you like it! Store in the fridge for up to one week.

Just be mindful, when you take it out of the fridge, it will act and look like jello. You made cow jello, and it is amazing!

To serve, season with salt and pepper and microwave about two minutes per mug. This would also make a great base for French onion soup, but we quite like it as is.

Enjoy!

Recipes · Soup · Vegetarian · Whole30

Holy Crap! Garlic Soup

Before you continue reading, do five jumping jacks. Yes, right now. Stop reading and get up!

Wasn’t that easy? Ok, now you can keep reading.

So, this might not be the right dish for a first date – unless you’re trying to make sure your potential new partner isn’t a vampire – but if you don’t mind garlic breath kisses, go for it. I never understood the problem with garlic breath anyway. Delicious. This soup was amazing and I’m sad it’s all gone, it will definitely be a regular dish in this house from now on (as requested by The [100% Italian] Boyfriend).

As with most of my soup creations, you will need an immersion blender (recommended), food processor, or blender. I also used my shiny red dutch oven for this soup, but I think a large stock pot will be just fine.

Ingredients: 
2 heads of garlic, coarsely chopped (18-20 cloves)
1 head cauliflower, chopped into medium florets
2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbsp butter or high quality olive oil
3 strips bacon
1 tbsp chickpea flour (disregard for Whole30)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper

20140216_1819155

Peel and chop garlic, onion, and cauliflower and set aside (in separate bowls). Cut bacon strips into several pieces and fry in your dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat until desired crispness. Remove bacon from pot and set aside on a paper towel. Add garlic, onion, and butter to the bacon grease and cook until softened and aromatic, 5-7 minutes. Add 1 tbsp of chickpea flour, stirring until fully blended.

Add cauliflower florets to the garlic mixture, toss well to coat cauliflower and prevent garlic/onion from burning at the bottom of the pot. Add 2 quarts of chicken or vegetable stock and 2 tsp of salt. Bring soup to a slow boil on medium-high heat, lower to a simmer, and continue simmering for about 30 minutes (I covered my pot with the lid, leaving just a small opening).

Remove soup from heat and blend with immersion blender – if using food processor or regular blender, do so in batches and return soup back to the pot. Return soup to heat for about 5 minutes to marry flavors. Add white pepper and mix well.

Serve immediately. Finish each bowl with a pinch of coarse salt and a swirl of high quality oil such as olive or avocado (optional).

 

This recipe was updated on 10 June 2017 to reflect adjustments for those following a Whole30 plan. Legumes and dairy products are not compliant with the Whole30 program.

Kid-Friendly · Pork · Recipes · Soup · Vegetarian

Easy Peas-y: Split Pea Soup w/ Sausage

*Moving to Oregon: 10 days*

The other day, I posted on my Facebook page that I probably wouldn’t be adding any recipes over the next few weeks as The Boyfriend and I start packing and relocating to our new home in Hillsboro, but this soup came out sooo tasty I just had to share!

Like most of my fall soup recipes, you’ll need an immersion blender, food processor, or regular blender.

IMG_20131118_102739

 

Ingredients: 
1 lb dried split peas
2 32-oz containers chicken stock
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb grass-fed pork sausage
3 tbsp pasture butter

Seasoning: 
2 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper

 

Place the sausage in a medium-sized stock pot and cover with chicken stock. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove sausage from pot and allow to cool (this will be added last). Reserve the chicken stock as this will later be added to the soup.

In a large stock pot, melt the butter on medium-high heat and add the chopped onions and garlic. Sautee for a few minutes, until onions and garlic begin to change color, then add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add the split peas and continue stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the reserved chicken stock from the sausage, the rest of that container, and the second quart of chicken stock. Bring soup to a boil, then let simmer for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If using an immersion blender, remove stock pot from heat and blend directly in the pot on high power. If using food processor or blender, blend in batches and add back to the pot. Slice the sausage into rings and add to the blended soup. Continue cooking on medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately.

IMG_20131118_102852

CrockPot · Kid-Friendly · Recipes · Soup · Vegetarian · Veggies + Side Dishes

Tomato Soup +

Tomato soup is wonderful this time of year (preferably with some grilled cheese, but I’ll work with what I’ve got). It’s also a great vehicle for getting more veggies in the bellies of our loved ones, kids and hangry men alike. You’ll need a vegetable peeler and a crock potthe rest is pretty simple. Just set it up in the morning and go on with your day, a perfect soup will be waiting for you when you get home.

I used my handy immersion blender for this soup, but if you don’t have one, a regular old blender or food processor will work just fine.

Ingredients: 
3 28-oz cans San Marzano tomatoes (I used one each of whole, crushed, and puree)
32 oz chicken or vegetable stock
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsp olive oil

Seasoning: 
1 tbsp kosher salt
1.5 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tbsp fresh basil (or 3 Dorot basil cubes)
2 tsp Cocky Cajun seasoning
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

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To the crock of a slow cooker, add all ingredients and seasoning/herbs/spices. Set crock pot on low for 6-8 hours.

If you’re using an immersion blender and are available to do so, blend the soup directly in the crock pot after about 4 hours and continue cooking on low.

If using a regular blender or food processor, cook  for 6-7 hours first, then blend in batches and add back to crock pot. Continue cooking on low for at least one more hour – this helps make sure all components are evenly incorporated.

Recipes · Soup · Veggies + Side Dishes

Wonderland Soup

“One side will make you grow taller… …and the other side will make you grow shorter.”
– 
Alice in Wonderland, 1951

alice on mushroom

With my new immersion blender and all these fall veggies, I can’t help making pureed soups. They’re just so good. Even mushrooms, which I normally really dislike (it’s a texture thing), are delicious with a bunch of other beautiful in-season goodies like parsnips and baked garlic.

No immersion blender? Blender or food processor will do just fine! (Though if you’re in the market for a new kitchen toy, I would really recommend the immersion blender.)

Ingredients: 
2 8-oz packages sliced mushrooms (I used baby bellas), washed thoroughly
4 medium-large parsnips, peeled
2 large leeks, coarsely chopped (bulbs only)
1 shallot (2 pieces), finely chopped
1 cayenne pepper, halved/seeded/finely chopped
1 head garlic
6 cups (48 oz) chicken or vegetable stock
3.5 tbsp olive oil

Seasoning: 
4 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
1 tsp garlic salt

shrooms (2)

Pre-heat the oven to 400*F. Wrap a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with non-stick spray or olive oil.

Slice parsnips into 1/2″ circles, cutting the larger pieces into quarters, and arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet. From the whole head of garlic, peel away the outer layer of “skin” and slice a bit off the top so you can see a bit into each clove. Wrap the garlic into a separate square of foil, cover with about 1.5 tbsp of olive oil, and twist the foil closed. Bake the parsnip and garlic together for about 25 minutes – the parsnip should be soft and lightly browned, but the garlic may need an additional 10 minutes or so. When the garlic is soft (test with a fork), carefully remove the cloves from the bulb.

While the parsnips and garlic are roasting, heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large stock pot on medium-high heat. Add the leeks, shallot, and pepper to the pot stirring occasional for about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and chicken stock, stirring well. Add the parsnip cubes and garlic and bring the soup to a boil. Lower to medium heat and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt, garlic salt, and pepper – adjust to taste.

When all components of the soup are fork-tender and/or “smashable” (press a piece of parsnip against the side of the stock pot with a spoon), remove from heat and allow to cool for about five minutes. Lower the immersion blender into the soup and blend on high until uniformly smooth. (If using blender or food processor, blend in batches until smooth, remove to another pot. and heat for another 5 minutes on the stove to marry all the components.) Serve immediately.

shrooms (1)

Kid-Friendly · Skills/Techniques · Soup · Veggies + Side Dishes

Werewolf Soup

A big bowl of this warm and creamy soup brings a little bit of heat and looks just like a full moon, perfect for a chilly night and all those “hangry” (angry-when-hungry) eaters in your house. While it takes a bit of time for the veggies to soften up, all you really need for this recipe is a big pot and an immersion blender, food processor, or blender

Ingredients: 
1 head cauliflower, coarsely chopped (greens removed)
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 leek bulb, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
~ 6 cups chicken stock (Rachael Ray’s is my absolute favorite*)
3 tbsp clarified butter

Seasoning: 
~ 1.5 tbsp Kosher salt (or to taste)
1 tsp freshly cracked pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
fresh sage, for garnish (optional)

In a large stock pot, melt the clarified butter on medium heat. Add cauliflower, parsnip, leek, onion, shallot, and garlic and sauté until veggies begin to soften and caramelize (about 10 minutes). Add the chicken stock, salt, and pepper and simmer about 35 minutes or until vegetables are completely soft. Add red pepper flakes, adjust seasoning to taste, and remove soup from heat.

Using your blending tool of choice, purée the soup until uniform and smooth. Serve immediately, garnishing each bowl with a sage leaf.

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* Rachael Ray’s stocks are by far the best I’ve found. Real ingredients, no added sugar, and you can find it in almost any supermarket. I’ve linked to the chicken stock on Amazon, but I know you can get it for less at Pathmark or Walmart. (No I don’t make any money for telling you that.)

Information · Soup · Whole30

Butternut Squeek Soup

I love butternut squash soup. Love love love. I have been buying the boxed stuff from Whole Foods and putting my own spin on it for years, but this fall… I decided to do it up my way. As tasty as the bright yellow gunk in the carton is, it has plenty of ingredients that have no business being in soup (rice syrup!?) and as you know, I’ve made a lifestyle decision to not eat that crap anymore so this year we’re making our own… and this time, we’re adding fresh leeks.

Please note, while I do not always list it in the ingredients, I do use organic and local vegetables/most food items whenever possible. I realize organic/local veggies can be expensive, so a good policy is just to look for them – if you can’t find it in the store, it means that the item you are looking for is probably out of season and you shouldn’t eat it anyway. If you are splurging on the good stuff, and you have to choose between organic and local (the 2-in-1 is surprisingly hard to find), go for the local option – the fresher the better. While not used in this recipe, I do try to buy organic/antibiotic-free/grass-fed proteins as well (or some combination of the three).

Ingredients: 
1 whole butternut squash (~3lbs)
1 leek, finely chopped (just the white part)
1 quart sugar-free chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1.5 tsp clarified butter or ghee
1 tbsp olive oil, for roasting

Seasoning:
freshly cracked salt
freshly cracked white pepper
freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Raw Butternut Squash!
Raw Butternut Squash!

Preheat the oven to 375*F.

Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and white pepper. Remove the stem of the squash and cut in half lengthwise, remove and discard seeds. Drizzle some more olive oil on the cut side of the squash and place face down on the baking sheet (the inside of the squash should be directly on the coated sheet). Roast for about 45 minutes to one hour, the squash should be very soft – 45 minutes was not enough for my oven.

Remove squash from the oven, turn the halves over, and let cool until you can actually pick them up – this is really important. I burned my fingers more than a few times in my excitement for this soup! While the squash is cooling, heat up the pot or sauce pan that you will be using for your soup on medium-high heat. To the pot, add the clarified butter and leeks. Sautee until leeks soften and begin to caramelize (about 3-4 minutes). Change temperature setting to low and allow the leeks to keep cooking while you clean out the squash.

Once the squash has cooled, scoop out the “meat” using a large spoon and immediately add to the pot. Make sure not to get any of the skin into the pot, I promise it won’t taste good. Raise temperature back to medium-high and add one quart of chicken stock (32 ounces). Add seasoning (salt, pepper, red pepper flakes), mix well, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer (medium-low) and continue cooking until squash begins to break down – about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let soup cool for about five minutes.

Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender until smooth, moving soup to another clean pot or saucepan. An immersion blender would probably work great for this as well, but I don’t have one (yet). Once all the soup is pureed and back in the pot, adjust your seasonings to taste (if needed), and simmer again for about 5 minutes to combine all the tasty flavors.

Serve immediately.

Scooped out squash and soup on the stove (before the blender)
Scooped out squash and soup on the stove (before the blender)