Liquid Diet Doesn’t Mean Bland Diet

People, I have graduated to soft foods. YEAH! Only certain ones, so still a pretty short list, but it’s exciting to have variety in my epicurean life once again. In the meantime—in those dark two weeks where meals could only be sucked through a straw—I got quite good at creating pureés and soups that were both green-lighted by the doctor and tasted pretty darn good. Also, I’ve lost nine pounds, which I was marveling at until my follow-up appointment earlier this week when the doc told me I will probably put it all back on (plus five more) when I return to solid foods. Jerks. So I guess I’ll enjoy being skinny while it lasts as I continue to experiment with approved foods that are also awesome. Here’s a recipe for a curried squash soup, where I used fresh squash plucked straight from my garden.

Curried Squash Soup
–1 TBSP olive oil
–1 TBSP butter
–2 yellow summer or crookneck squash, most seeds removed and chopped

–1 small onion, finely diced
–2 TBSP brown sugar
–1 TBSP yellow curry powder
–1 tsp turmeric
–1 tsp paprika

–1 tsp fresh-cracked black pepper
–pinch of kosher or sea salt
–1/4 cup water

–1 cup chicken broth
–4 TBSP sour cream
–1/8 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts or pecans

In a large skillet with a well-fitting lid, heat the olive oil and butter. Add the squash and onion and sauté for a few minutes, stirring as needed, until veggies begin to get tender and some start to brown. Add all the spices and stir well to combine. Sauté a few more minutes, again stirring as needed to prevent sticking. Add the water and cover the skillet to steam. Simmer for 5 minutes (some of the water will evaporate but it’s okay if there is still water in the pan when you remove the lid).
Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the squash mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the chicken broth and blend until the mixture is smooth and no vegetable chunks remain. Pour into four bowls and top each with a dollop of sour cream (not pictured sadly as I was eating mine at work and took the picture before a co-worker came back from the corner burrito joint with a side of sour cream for me). I also sadly cannot eat nuts or anything spiky, crunchy, pointy, etc. for a while yet. The whole time I was eating the soup I kept thinking that some chopped toasted hazelnuts or pecans would be so nice to compliment the (different kind of) nutty flavor of the squash. If you try it, let me know if my instincts were right!
Dammit Jim, I’m not a doctor…
Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4
Calories: 176 per serving (with sour cream and nuts)

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