So if you were kind enough to read my very long post about penne w/ sun-dried tomato chicken, you know I recently ran the Chicago Marathon. In a very, very cruel twist of fate, despite the ridiculous number of miles I was running each week, I actually gained 5 pounds. What the @$!&???????? Maybe it’s muscle. Sure, let’s go with that. But most likely it’s the ice cream binges I justified because I was running so darn much. Or the Snicker’s bars. Or the donuts at work. Or the post-long run pancakes. Or the….you get the idea. I’m usually a pretty healthy eater and I try to stick to the 80/20 philosophy when it comes to food. 80% healthy, 20% indulgent and always an eye on portion control. Except ice cream. I’m not so good at portion control with ice cream. Anyway, over the course of the 16-week training program I allowed myself to indulge a wee bit more (ok fine, a lot more) than 20% and I learned the hard way that it’s a whole lot easier to put calories in than it is to burn them off.
So now I’m back to my normal 80/20 eating habits (more like 90/10 till those 5 lbs disappear) and when I want something warm, comforting and healthy I often turn to soup. This time of year I use butternut squash any chance I get and it’s particularly tasty when paired with tart Granny Smith apples. Serve this with a dollop of plain greek yogurt and a chunk of crusty whole-grain bread.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- ¼ teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and seeded
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a Dutch oven or large pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and ginger and cook until soft but not brown, about 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium if the onion and ginger start to brown.
- Add the butternut squash, apple, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook another 5-10 minutes or until squash starts to soften.
- Add chicken broth, bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes, or until squash is completely tender.
- Let the mixture cool slightly and carefully puree in an upright blender. You might have to do this step in batches to avoid overcrowding the blender.
- Top with a dollop of sour cream of plain greek yogurt.