A hungry girl's adventures in Cleveland and beyond.

Getting hygge with it! Let's Have a Soup Party

If you like the idea of entertaining, but think you don't have time or it's too much work, I have the party for you. A Soup Party! It's the perfect party, especially at this time of year. When the temperature drops, we naturally spend more time indoors and start thinking of all things hygge.
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Hygge, in case you don't already know, is the Danish art of coziness. Candles, knit scarves, fireplaces, blankets, cocoa or tea and of course soup are all things that create hygge. But hygge isn't just hibernating alone in your house. It's about enjoying the company of friends and family too. A Soup Party captures this concept perfectly!

So what exactly is a Soup Party? Well, obviously it features soup. But it's a bit more fun than that. Each person brings a pot of soup to share. Add an app or two, some crusty bread and a something sweet, and simple soup turns into a fabulous feast. My friend Sarah hosts a Soup Party every January and it's one of the most anticipated nights of the year!

This Roasted Butternut Squash Soup recipe is perfect for a Soup Party. It can be adjusted to be vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free so it easily accommodates the dietary needs of any guests. 

This soup is like a warm hug. Plus it's quick, customizable and healthy too! You can roast all the veggies ahead of time and whip it up in minutes when you are ready to serve it. The recipe is very forgiving and you can swap out or add ingredients to take advantage of what you have on hand or food preferences. You can leave out the sweet potato or swap it for a russet. Use veggie broth and maple syrup to make it vegan. Leave out the hot pepper if you don't like spice. And if you have some leftover canned pumpkin, you can stir that in too.
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You can see me make the soup on New Day Cleveland, and then make this at home with the recipe below.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

2 medium butternut squash, cubed (about 4 cups)
1 large sweet potato, cubed
2 carrots, sliced thick
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 roasted hatch chile, or other hot pepper such as jalapeño, poblano, etc.
1/4 c. apple cider
Olive oil
1/4 t. aleppo pepper (or cayenne)
4 c. broth or stock
1 T. Adobo seasoning
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. paprika
3 T. honey or maple syrup
S+P to taste

Preheat oven to 375℉. Put all veggies in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with aleppo pepper and season with S+P. Spread on a large shallow tray and bake until tender, approximately 25 minutes. You want the squash to be very soft with lots of brown spots. 

Pour broth in Vitamix container. Add roasted veggies, apple cider, Adobo, cumin, cinnamon, paprika and sweetener. Blend on soup setting. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. 

If you don't have a Vitamix, you can easily make this on the stove. After roasting the veggies, add them to a pot. Add the other ingredients and bring the liquid to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.

Now comes the best part - the toppings! Set out an assortment of tasty toppings and guests can customize their bowls and create their own masterpieces. 

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Green onions
Pomegranate seeds
Crumbled sausage
Crispy sage leaves
Creme fraîche
Chopped fresh parsley
Candied almonds
Goat cheese
Goldfish crackers
Roasted delicata slices
Feta cheese

If you dread cutting up the squash, you can but it pre-cubed at the grocery store. But it's expensive and doesn't taste as fresh. You can also cut the squash in half and roast it cut side down, then scoop out the flesh. But my favorite way to prepare squash is super simple and fast. Here's how:

- Cut off the ends of the squash
- Prick all over with a fork
- Microwave for 3 minutes
- When cool enough to handle, use a potato peeler to easily remove the skin

That's it! Easy peasy. 

What is your favorite kind of soup?