I’M BACK FROM ITALY AND NYC!! Finally. 3 weeks later it’s nice to be back in my own bed. I have tons of yummy things and funny stories to share from the epic trip. But more on that later.
Know what’s the best thing EVER? I know, me with the superlatives again. Deal with it. I think you’ll agree though.
Seeing one of your best friends for the first time in a LONG time. I saw this article and it pretty much sums up my feelings exactly. Basically when you live with someone for 4 years straight in a very confining dorm room, are on the same sports team that practices about 4-6 hours a day, actually compete/train in the exact same events, eat every meal together, and even take some of the same classes….you get pretty close. People even combined our names to become “Dananana” (Dana + Ana) and would be confused if we ever showed up somewhere without the other. Even more impressive is the fact that we didn’t kill each other/barely ever fought, still unintentionally dress the same as the other and finish each other sentences, even when we haven’t actually seen each other in person for over a year. MAN we’re so young here.
Which, obviously, leads to a reunion of epic proportions, as illustrated by the article. It’s pretty hilarious how accurate this thing is.
#1: EXTREME anticipation. “Clear the road, other drivers. When you know you’re a two-hour drive away from your bestie, it feels like you’re trying to rip a hole into time and space to get there as fast as possible.”
Know what’s also really fun? Watching old videos of yourself and best friends from college doing extremely stupid/questionable things. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. There may or may not have been tears of laughter streaming down my face. I’ll spare you the details but let’s just say one of them involves my suitemates dancing on our kitchen floor that was greased with butter, then pulling a total Charlie brown and falling on his back. As my dad always says, it’s only funny until someone gets hurt, then it’s hilarious. Don’t worry, he was fine. We definitely watched that one over about 5 times.
Yeah. We’re silly. Sorry not sorry. Again, the article nails it: #6 and #7: Extreme Nostalgia and Laughing Way too Hard at Inside Jokes. “SORRY, everyone in a 5-mile radius. We can’t help that we’re hilarious. “
And obviously…#15 – Vow to NEVER let this happen again. “Ain’t no mountain high enough. We can’t live without each other for this long again. It’s a miracle we survived the first separation at all.”
It’s a weekend like this that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Kinda like this soup. It’s ridiculously good. And would be perfect for any holiday celebration. Umm yeah…thanksgiving is two weeks away aready, WHAT?!
- 4 cups packed roasted winter squash (I have used combinations of Kabocha + butternut, *acorn + delicata, pumpkin + acorn) This is about 1 medium acorn squash + 1 medium delicata
- ½ medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- ½ c applesauce, homemade
- 3c chicken broth
- 1c almond milk (I like califia farms almond-coconut milk blend) * use coconut milk for AIP
- ¼c apple cider (optional)
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp apple pie spice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin butter
- ½ tsp each sea salt and pepper, plus more, to taste
- Choose the squash you want to use and roast it: The easiest way to do this is preheat the oven to 400, use a knife to pierce the squash a few times, and then roast it whole for about 40-60 minutes, depending on the size. To check if it’s done, use a fork to push down on the skin. If it gives and you can easily push the skin down, it’s done!
- Allow the squash to cool while you’re preparing the other ingredients. Make sure you use a towel to handle it – they’ll be extremely hot!
- Heat a large soup pot over medium heat with 1 Tbsp coconut oil. When it’s hot, add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in your garlic until it’s fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the apple pie spice and cinnamon.
- Add the squash and applesauce, and stir. Make sure when you measure it, you’re really packing it down into the measuring cups/bowls to get a full 4 cups.
- Stir in 3 cups of broth, the almond milk, cider, pumpkin butter, salt and pepper with a wooden spoon. You want the liquid to completely cover the squash mixture.
- Use an immersion blender to combine all the ingredients in the pot until smooth. Pro tip: put a dish towel over half the top of the pot while you’re doing this to prevent splashing hot liquids all over the place. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the soup to a food processor or blender in batches, and blend until you reach a smooth consistency. Then transfer the soup back to the pot.
- Simmer about 30 minutes to let the flavors develop. The longer it sits, the better it is!
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more liquid (if you want it sweeter, add more cider. Otherwise, add more almond milk or broth).
- Shown here with roasted chicken apple sausage and sage on top. I prepped this in the last few minutes while the soup was simmering.