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Eden Hertzog is on our beta-carotene wavelength.

I live life week-to-week. In my utopia there is such a thing as a good week. As in, the whole week is good. In reality I do find that, by the time Thursday rolls around, I can get pretty cranky. There’s no rocket science behind this, it’s simply a product of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday being a snowball of events and habits which lead to crankiness.

Some people train for marathons. Me? I train for finding the balance between motherhood, work, self, marriage and anything else that may squeeze itself in. Week-to-week, folks.

Sometimes I think that finding balance is something elaborate, but more often that not it is something incredibly simple right under my nose. Like eating well. If Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are a train-wreck of poor eating habits, then by Thursday it will all catch up with me. Part of my rigorous training then, is making time to prepare healthy food for myself so I can be fuelled well. Simple.

Lunch is the culprit for me, as I often find myself scrounging around at work for a makeshift lunch. This always ends up as some form of cookie-eating. Easy to do in a cookie factory.

So this is where a big, beautiful butternut squash comes in. It’s soup-time! I wanted to make a simple, savoury and nutritious soup that I could then add to for lunch time. This soup is great with a green salad or sautéed veggies or a nice, rustic sandwich. The best part is that it is easy and quick to make. There you go – you have no excuse not to have a great week now.

Eden’s son Cedar, helping     

Butternut, Sweet Potato, and Caramelised Onion Soup

Ingredients:

Butter and olive oil

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 medium apples, peeled and cubed

3 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced into thin half-moons

2 leeks, washed and chopped (I use only half the leek, leaving out tough green stems)

1 tbsp minced ginger

4 cups organic chicken or vegetable stock

3 cups water

salt and pepper

1 tsp nutmeg

How to Do It:

Preheat your oven to 400F. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Place cubed apples, squash, and sweet potato on sheet and dot with little pieces of butter. Bake for 1 hour, but at the 30-minute mark, take the sheet out to flip all the veggies over so they can roast on both sides.

To caramelize your onions, place 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter in the soup pot you will be cooking the soup in. On medium heat, cook your onions with the butter and olive oil until they are soft and golden. Add the chopped leeks and ginger, and sauté together to blend the flavours. Now go ahead and add all your roasted stuff, and stir everything with some salt and pepper. Add your soup stock and water, and add more salt and pepper to taste. If you like the idea of nutmeg, go for it. If not, it will still be delicious.

Either using a hand-blender or by pouring soup (in batches) into a blender, go ahead and puree the soup to your desired consistency. I like using a hand-blender better because you can still leave some texture.

You can add more water or stock at the end if you want a thinner soup. I added some fresh spinach to mine (because green stuff is good) at the end and served it with a dollop of yogurt.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a good week – or I’ll just keep on eating this soup.

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