Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Meal Plan- Feb 22nd- Feb 26th: Butternut Apple Soup

I wanted February's meal plan to include a soup recipe to enjoy on these winter nights. My timing seems to have been right on the mark as the snow from a huge snowstorm (huge for us Jerusalemites!) has all but melted and I am recovering from a nasty cold. Butternut Apple Soup by Isa Chandra was on the menu and it would be the Instant Pot's inaugural dish. Super exciting!

I took the day off from work to get some R&R and decided to get to the supermarket early. My total this week came to 150 shekels! That is the most I've spent on groceries since I started keeping track. 60 shekels went to purchasing ten pounds of oats which takes me through a good few months. I came home with the usual salad suspects, apples, apple juice,  dried rosemary, sweet potatoes (no butternut squash!), a couple of onions, a sack of potatoes, and a hot water bottle. This brought my total spent on food (including six pounds of frozen berries) for the month of February to 650 shekels. Not bad at all and that is significant savings from previous months!

Anyway, back to the soup.
As usual I opted to leave out the oil. I sauteed the onion in the Instant Pot until translucent. Man, does that pot saute well! I then added the ginger and garlic. I left out the red pepper flakes but I would add that next time because I feel like it would cut the sweetness of the apple. I added the rosemary (would add less next time) and salt and sauteed a bit more before adding the rest of the ingredients. I used half butternut squash and half sweet potatoes so I added that. I also used apple juice instead of the cider and I used water instead of broth. I would use broth next time, once again to help cut the sweetness. I cooked it at pressure for about ten minutes and then did a quick release. Used an immersion blender to puree and voila! Soup. It was DELICIOUS! (Not to mention I was very proud of my use of pressure cooker with no mishaps!) This soup really is a winner. I would make a couple of tweaks as mentioned above but that said, it will definitely be made again. And the Instant Pot? It's a keeper :) Gonna be using this a lot more! I'm continuing to cook through Appetite for Reduction for the month of March as well, so stay tuned next week for another soup recipe.

Butternut Apple Soup
adapted from Appetite for Reduction

1 medium sized onion, diced small
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1- 2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups apple juice
2 cups water (or broth)
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chunked- I used half squash and half sweet potato
1 pound red apples, peeled, cored and chunked

Press the sautee function on your Instant Pot and put it to a medium heat. Saute the onions until translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and the rest of the spices and continue to sautee for a couple of minutes. Press cancel on the saute function. Add the apple juice and water followed by the vegetables and apples. Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Press the manual key and set to ten minutes. I was testing this baby so I did a quick release-- wow, that's a lot of steam! When cool enough to handle, puree the soup with an immersion blender. Enjoy!

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