“Crazy runners. What are they thinking?!” It’s clearly written on the drivers’ faces as they pass by my running partner and I when we venture out on mornings when the thermometer reads 9 degrees F.
We layer up well, as I talked about in Running in Cold Weather: My Tips & Tricks, but still come back with frozen hair and eyelashes (yeah, remember that picture from last year’s running adventures?) We may be a little crazy, but there is no better way to start the day than with a good sweat.
On those chilly running days, I crave hot foods all day long: scrambled eggs, soups, stews…hot toddies. If it’s hot, I consume it.
This butternut squash soup is not only warming and rich in flavor, but it happens to be vegan, gluten-free, low-fat and packed with vitamins. The spiced pepitas are like savory candy – you won’t be able to stop eating them. Pepitas can be found in the bulk food section of most well-stocked supermarkets.
Low-Fat Butternut Squash Soup Recipe with Spiced Pepitas
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1 medium Gala apple cored and chopped
- 1 carrot diced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 5 cups cubed butternut squash about 2-1/4 pounds
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons minced cilantro
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat.
- Add the onion, apple, carrot and celery to the saucepan and cook until the vegetables are starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cumin, and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
- Stir in the butternut squash and broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until the butternut squash is tender, about 30 minutes.
- Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender, a regular blender or a food processor, puree the soup until it is smooth. Serve. Garnish each helping with spiced pepitas and cilantro.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, toss the pepitas, olive oil, paprika, cumin and salt. Spread the coated pepitas on a baking sheet.
- Bake until the pepitas are golden brown, about 5 minutes, stirring once. Watch carefully so the pepitas do not burn.
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