Vanilla-Scented Butternut Squash + Pear Soup with Cashew Creme

Here's another post I did for Sakara Life. Click the link at the bottom for the recipe!

I made this soup on the first day of fall, with sounds of a football game coaching me in the background, and it could not have been more satisfying. Now by football I of course mean reruns of Friday Night Lights, because let's be serious, I have no desire to watch an actual game. But I can get into all the other stuff that goes along with being a sports fan, mainly eating and hanging out with friends before Monday morning ruins everything. I should let you know now that my friends and I have serious Monday anxiety. We try our best to take advantage of those two days of freedom, and promise each other to not bring up the "M" word until late Sunday night. But sometimes, your laughing with your favorite people on a Saturday night, and it sneaks up on you. That overwhelming feeling that it's almost over. I guess if we didn't put in so many hours during the workweek, the weekend wouldn't feel so great - yeah right. 

I guess once the initial shock of my alarm clock wears off, I'll have a bowl of this soup to look forward to for lunch. Packed with carotenoids, potassium, and vitamin B6, butternut squash is a powerhouse autumn staple, and lends itself nicely to both sweet and savory partners. I love combining it with salty feta and soy sauce, but with the abundance of pears and apples at my fingertips, I sweetened things up a bit this time. Warming spices were a no-brainer as was the maple syrup, but I got fancy with the cashew creme and vanilla bean. That's what weekends are for though - wearing platforms and cooking with fifteen dollar sticks of vanilla. This was actually my first time making cashew creme, and now that I have, I can see it becoming a regular menu item. First of all, it could not be easier, but most importantly, it's delicious. Use it anytime a recipe calls for cream, in place of yogurt, or even thinned out a bit and blended into your morning smoothie. Besides being my favorite nut, cashews are high in copper and magnesium, which both do great things for your hair, skin, and bones. Now pour yourself a bowl of soup, set aside a few hours to get to know your DVR, and enjoy sweater weather. Happy fall!

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