Christmas is here, Christmas is here!!!
How exciting is that?! I am SO looking forward to all of the relaxation, family and friend time, delicious food and more delicious food.
But really, does the relaxation part actually happen? Not always. friends. Not always. But this year, I’m making it a huge priority. Even though we are making the trek (okay, it’s not that far) back to Michigan, and we have a billion people to visit, there will be 1) sleep 2) mostly pajama-wearing for 5 days 3) lots of cooking and eating 4) more sleep and eating
But 5) no kitten cuddles for 5 days, which I’m trying not to think about.
I can survive right?
Anyway, I also have some time off of work next week, too, which is going to be fantastic. I have so many fun projects to do around the house, including building a prop/bookshelf out of barn wood from my dad’s barn (yessss) and putting the finishing touches on a dresser-turned-tv-stand project I am working on so I can be all pinterest-y and stuff. It’s going to be a blast, and yes, this is considered part of my relaxation. And yes, Ben is going to help me out with all of this. He loves crafting!!! [Not] But he is super helpful and necessary when it comes to hauling big dressers and hanging things on walls. Love u.
Okay, so now I’ve rambled on and on and on about holidays and sleeping and crafting, but I haven’t even mentioned the elephant in the room. THIS SOUP. But just to back up for one more second because I have a question for you – Have I posted too many soups on the blog, you guys? Are you getting tired of soup? I certainly hope not, because I have 512 soup recipes, and each and every one of them must be shared!
I just love soup – and I think you love it, too. It’s warm, comforting, luscious and so simple to make.
And this particular soup is one of my faves. It actually started out as a simple balsamic roasted vegetables recipe – A pan-full of winter veggies tossed in a light balsamic dressing, roasted to perfection and topped with honey, walnuts and parm. Yum, right? But then I figured I may as well add broth and a few other tasty ingredients and puree it into a silky, velvety soup that you’ll want to bathe in. Yes, bathe. I have literally eaten the entire pot of soup this week [no, I’m not sharing] and don’t feel bad about it in the least. Because it’s super healthy and gives me the warm n’ fuzzies.
This is all part of my relaxation plan, kids.
Plus, I think it’s just so fun to experiment with soups. It amazes me how just a touch of sugar and spice to finish this soup makes all the difference. It takes the roasted veggie recipe from great to otherworldly, unicorn-like.
Try it, folks. You’ll be so happy you did it, and you’ll eat the whole pot, too.
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh basil
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Dash coarse kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 large red onion, halved, cut in to wedges
- 1 large granny smith apple, cubed
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- ½ lb. carrots, peeled and chopped in rounds
- 3-4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
- 4 Tbsp. plain nonfat yogurt
- 2-2 ½ Tbsp. granulated sugar, brown sugar or honey
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon and/or nutmeg
- Pinch cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
- Toppings: Honey, shaved fresh Parmesan, chopped walnuts/pecans
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Whisk vinegar, thyme and basil together in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil.
- Place chopped onion, apple, sweet potato, squash and carrots on large baking sheet. Add dressing and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Roast until vegetables are tender and slightly brown around edges, about 35-40 minutes.
- Place vegetables in a large stock pot and pour in 3-4 cups of vegetable stock, just enough to cover the vegetables. Heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Puree soup using a [stick] blender, adding more broth if necessary. Add yogurt, sugar, cinnamon/nutmeg and cayenne/crushed red pepper flakes and continue to puree until incorporated. Season with a dash of salt and black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- Top soup with a drizzle of honey, shaved fresh Parmesan and chopped walnuts/pecans.
Oh, and this makes one FABULOUS side dish/dish to pass for your upcoming holiday party. And it also seconds as a wonderful ‘I feel bad that I ate so many cookies’ recipe that’ll make you feel all good about what you’re eating again.
Promises! And happy holiday wishes!