Sunday, September 11, 2011

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup and This Week's News

Thanks for all of the wonderful comments you left on my last blog post. I knew I would get some people who disagreed with me about the inclusion of fruits in the diet, and the fact that Weight Watchers now considers fruits to be free foods (some of you only sort of agreed with me). I loved reading all of your thoughts and opinions. I think the bottom line is that fruit is great, and much better than most sources of sugar, but if one really wants to lose weight they need to remember that sugar is sugar, and if you eat it in excess the weight won't come off.

Here are some of my favorite nutrition and health articles from the week;

People Eat Food Out of Habit, Even When Food Is Stale
(This studied showed that eating habits can be so ingrained that some people may even resort to eating stale popcorn at the movie theater simply because it's a habit. Don't let eating "habits" contribute to mindless eating, in the true sense of the word)

Moderate Drinking Tied to Better Health For Women, Study Suggests
(One drink a day may not be such a bad idea. And no, it doesn't have to be wine!)

Drinking Pattern Linked to Alcohol's Effect on Heart Health
(Research suggests it's better to have one or two drinks a day than to save all your drinks for the weekend. Hmm, sort of sounds similar to the recommendations for food! Right? Don't "save" calories for the weekend, and don't "save" drinks either. It just doesn't work that way.)

Battle Lines Solidify Over Bid To Distinguish Food From Supplements
(Is it a food, or a supplement? Many companies are classifying their products as supplements simply because the regulations for dietary supplements aren't as strict and there is no pre-market approval. Tricky stuff.)

And now it's butternut squash recipe time! We're down to about 25 butternut squash (even after giving away about 20!) and I'm still creating a new recipe each week. Caitlin from Feed Between the Lines recommended a roasted butternut squash soup, which sounded delicious but was way too similar to the butternut squash soup I made last year. So I decided to try out the Cabot Reduced Fat Butternut Squash Soup instead.

Here is the original recipe, with my modifications in red.

(Makes about 6 large servings)
2 pounds butternut squash (~2 butternut squash), peeled and cut into chunks**

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (low sodium chicken broth)**

1 cup Cabot Light Sour Cream or Regular Sour Cream (0% fat Greek yogurt)

1/2 cup Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar, grated (75% reduced fat white cheddar cheese)

2 tablespoons salted butter

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon sugar (omitted)

Several chives, cut into 1-inch pieces (the green parts are ok on low FODMAPs diet)**

**NOTE:  This recipe is not low FODMAPs, because of the butternut squash.  If you seem to be able to handle more than 1/4th-1/2 cup butternut squash, than this recipe is fine (I seem to do well with butternut squash).  Also, if you are going to try this soup and you want it to be lower FODMAPs, look for a chicken broth with zero garlic or onion.

1. In large saucepan, combine squash and broth. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and let stand until slightly cooled; puree in batches in blender.

3. Return puree to saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Stir in sour cream (or Greek yogurt!), cheddar, butter and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Stir until heated through (do not allow to boil). Taste soup, adding sugar if squash was not particularly sweet. Serve sprinkled with chives (or not....).

Do you see that little bubble to the left of the spoon? Yeah, I let it boil on accident. Oops. I talked to some of the chefs with whom I work and they said I "broke" my soup. In other words, I let it get too hot and it curdled the butter and yogurt. So the soup wasn't pretty, but it was still delicious!

This was so delicious that even Nick liked it (and he "hates" soup). It's delicious with a nice piece of crunchy whole wheat bread.

Estimated Nutrition Facts
(Per 1/6 batch)
It also tastes great with a good beer. If you're a beer lover, like Nick and me, you have to try Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. I tried it for the first time two years ago and now I think it's my all time favorite beer. It's pricey, but completely worth it! Nick and I have been drinking this since we found it in stores a couple weeks ago. I try to stick to "moderation", but sometimes it's so hard! And yes, I normally use this as my "dessert" (normally...).

QUESTION: What's your favorite fall drink (alcoholic or not)?


  1. This soup sounds great! I love squash soup, slightly sweet and salty, warmth and comfort! Perfect for the early fall! :)

  2. I've never had that kind but I LOVE dogfish head. It's so good.

  3. The soup recipe looks great!
    It's definitely soup (and squash) weather here!
    My fave fall drink is apple cider...mmmmm.

  4. So glad you tried the soup & liked it!

    I don't really have a favorite fall drink, I guess. Oh wait... I usually get at least one non-fat pumpkin spice latte's from Starbucks, but I always ask for 1 1/2 pumps... the 3 pumps that they usually use is TOOOO sweet.

  5. The soup looks awesome. In the end looks are good, but taste is most important. Although I know in some cases the looks is what make you want t taste it in the first place. I once made a pureed broccoli soup and Ryan almost did not try it purely based on looks. He did give it a try and really liked it, and was glad he did no let the looks win out, but it still made him cringe a little each time he saw it.

    I love pumpkin ale too, and pumpkin spice lattes are good. Hoping they serve them on the base, but at least I will be in SD next week for FNCE (my mom and stepdad are meeting me there in advance for a minivacation) so I can at least get one then.

  6. Butternut Squash soup is one of my favorites. I like to go to Boudin Bakery Cafe on Sundays to enjoy their version. I am going to try yours!

    I like hot tea in the Fall/Winter. I don't drink alcohol very often but an occasional glass of white wine is my choice when I do.

  7. Ok - thanks to you I have been reminded how much I love butternut squash soup. Now I know what to add to my shopping list today.

    My favorite fall drink is hot chai tea - I never crave it until the temps drop. A little red wine too - but I guess I like that anytime of the year :)

  8. hahaha, we must on the same wave length - I posted about Pumpking today... a beer from Southern Tier!

    I think red wine always does it for me- but I love microbrews lately so I will have to try this dogfish !!!! thanks!

    that butternut squash looks so creamy! Caitlin from FBTL is so awesome!

  9. you NEED to try banana nut beer! seriously it tastes exactly like banana nut haha and i bet would be deliiiicious in beer bread OR BANANA BUTTERNUT BEER BREAD!!!!!! DO ITTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

  10. Beer=one if my favorites. Must try a pumpkin beer this fall!

    Your soup sounds so tasty + looks uber creamy. Soup is so comforting.

  11. I absolutely love this squash soup recipe and can't wait to make it! I mostly a wine, margarita, or martini gal, but for a non-alcoholic fall drink, I love to warm up the Spicy Apple Cider from Trader Joes. Mmm...

  12. Actually, I think the "broken" soup looks awesome! Kabocha soup is my favorite soup ever (and it tastes pretty much similar to butternut soup). I'm not sure what constitutes as a fall drink...I think Coffee Bean has a new line of salted caramel lattes...I want to try that soon!