Happy Kat Soup

A coworker sent me this recipe recently and I thought it sounded delicious. To lighten it up, simply omit the butter and replace with a light cooking spray or olive oil. Remember, the soups with no cream are always the healthier option!

Have a great Friday and check back this weekend for healthier candy options to enjoy this Halloween.

Yummy Roasted Squash Soup (Happy Kat Soup)
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2 butternut squash
1 acorn squash
1 ½ lbs (or so) carrots
1 yellow pepper
2 shallots
Large sweet onion, diced
Most of a celery heart, diced
½ – 1 cup spinach, leaves or frozen
½ – ¾ tbsp tomato paste
1 clove garlic
*olive oil, for sautéing
Spices for seasoning, cumin, curry, paprika, etc. (Whatever you prefer!)
64 oz vegetable broth
Thyme, palm full
Parsley, palm full

1. Season the squash, carrots, pepper, shallots, and garlic with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a 400-425° oven until very soft and roasty-toasty (very good color and the squash is easily scooped out of the skin). The pepper is done when the skin is nearly black and ready to peel away.
2. In a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot, sauté sweet onion and celery heart in a little butter (or olive oil) until soft.
3. While sautéing the onion and celery, add some spinach, spices of your choice (cumin, curry, cinnamon, ginger, fresh nutmeg paprika, or poultry seasoning), tomato paste or tomato paste concentrate, and pepper. Cook until the tomato darkens a bit.
4. Add chicken broth (or vegetable broth) (I probably used about 64 oz), thyme, parsley, and simmer. Add the roasty, squashy, vegetables.
5. Hit with stick blender or puree in batches in the food processor. Check for seasoning and add a splash of Cognac.

Notes:
If you use low sodium, fat-free broth you may want to simmer it with a mirepoix and herbs while the vegetables are roasting to boost the flavor.
If you slice the carrots rather than do big chunks, you could probably get away without using the blender.

Recipe by Lisa Montgomery