So. This might come as a surprise, but my boyfriend neither Crossfits nor enjoys vegetables.
Yeah, I know.
I have to give him credit, though, because he will eat ALMOST anything I cook, and if I cook vegetables, we have a deal that he at least tries them. Granted, he certainly does not get the volume I’d like to see, but it’s a huge step in the right direction, especially for someone who’s gone from ZERO to dating the vegetable queen. It’s taken some adjustment on my part, too, as I’d become someone who was fine eating the same dinner all week, and lots and lots of straight-up veg. Now, I’m cooking more of a variety of things so we’re not bored, and I essentially have to treat vegetables like I would for a picky child: Hide them.
Some attempts have been more successful than others. Brussels sprouts and bacon were a huge flop, as is roasted broccoli (so sad!). Salad with homemade dressing was so-so for him, but he loved the crap out of kale cooked with whole-wheat egg noodles, vodka sauce, and ground beef (hamburger helper, anyone?). He also did impressively well with a veggie burger I made that had beets as a base. Additionally, the boy loves a good hearty soup. He’s been a fan of a few soups I’ve made this winter, including a Thai-style butternut squash and coconut soup and a carrot-ginger-cashew soup.
Well, I just conquered the mother of all challenges.
We got frozen cauliflower in last week’s CSA. Now, I LOVE cauliflower in all its incarnations, but The Boy hates it. He likens it to an allergy, saying he tastes it differently than other people and how it makes him gag. My mom made him try a FRIED cauliflower patty at Christmas and made the mistake of telling him what was in it. I say that because nothing about this patty is healthy or screams cauliflower. It’s all egg binder, herbs, and lots of romano cheese. He barely took a bite and gagged.
Knowing that cauliflower makes a good mashed faux-tato, I thought that it might go well in this soup, to give it a thick and creamy flavor and consistency.
And what happened?
The Boy went back for SECONDS and couldn’t stop saying how good it was. He renamed this soup the “Fucking Awesome Soup.”
And no, I did NOT ruin the moment and tell him there was cauliflower in it.
He’s taking soup leftovers with him to work because he liked it THAT much.
Seriously, you want to try this soup. It is thick and hearty and delicious and filling and perfect for the nasty weather we’re getting in the Northeast. In this incarnation, it’s not strict Paleo, but it IS gluten-free, and easily adaptable for vegan/vegetarians (use veg stock) or Paleo folk (omit corn and potatoes). You can even add some diced chicken boob for some extra protein! Mmmmmm!!!
Let me know how you like this. I’m telling you, if I can fool my boyfriend into thinking it’s a basic yummy chowder, I PROMISE your picky eater will lap it all up instantly, too!
Butternut squash chowder
- 1.5 pounds butternut squash puree (I used 1 pound butternut squash puree and 1 cup of pumpkin puree), fresh or frozen
- 1 pound cauliflower florets, fresh or frozen
- 1 pound corn, freshly de-eared or frozen
- 2 small white potatoes, diced
- 32 oz low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 1.5 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- Sea salt to taste (1.5–2 teaspoons)
Coat the bottom of a medium pot with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or cooking spray, and heat to a medium heat. Add diced onion and a pinch of salt, and brown, stirring occasionally, approximately 5 minutes.
Once onions begin to caramelize, add chicken stock, butternut squash puree, garlic cloves, curry powder, and cauliflower florets. Bring to a boil, and then simmer on medium-low for approximately 20 minutes, or until florets are tender and hot.
In two batches, puree soup mixture in blender until smooth. Be careful because it’s now very hot! Return pureed soup to the pot, and return to a simmer.
Now, add corn kernels and diced potatoes, along with the smoked paprika, pepper, and salt. Simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring from bottom occasionally, approximately 20 minutes. Enjoy!
Recipe makes approximately 12 one-cup servings. For WW peeps, this recipe fits within the Simply Filling/Simple Start plans.