Today is my last long run before the marathon, thank God! Twenty-two miles to be exact.
I’ll be crossing the starting line of the NYC marathon (fingers crossed everyone!) in 17 days 15 hours 33 minutes and 6 seconds, but for now it’s still training time. Despite the frost on each blade of grass in our front lawn screaming at me to go back inside I’m looking forward to it.
I’ve heard from other marathoners that the final 6.2 miles are brutal. Most training plans only have you running a maximum of 20 miles in training, leaving the last 6.2 up to prayers and hope. Some people dedicate each of these final miles to someone they love to keep pushing through, but I’m not sure that would work for me…
Since I’m a food-aholic, over the next two weeks I’m going to dedicate the last 6 miles to the foods I love.
Today starts mile 20 – Butternut Squash Soup.
One bite of this soup and you will be whisked away to Thanksgiving Day. It has a creamy almost velvety texture that lingers until the next bite. A medicinal aroma from the sage settles nicely along side the soup. The heavy whipping cream should not be forgotten. It’s creamy and wholesome tastes smooth out the sweetness of the butternut squash.
What I won’t be thinking about come race day is how difficult it is to peel the little bastards butternut squash. The squash becomes so slippery that you must unleash the jaws of life (your hands) to hold on until they start to cramp. If the cramps aren’t bad enough, the squash leaves an odd residue on your hands that take a steel wool pad to remove. If you’re looking to skip this part of the fun feel free to buy the already peeled squashed next to the pre-washed lettuce at the store.
In the end, I would run through fire, swim with sharks, and even complete a marathon for one bite of this soup.
Butternut Squash Soup Recipe (best ever!) adapted from Bon Appétit
You will need:
~ 2 heads of garlic, cut in half through the equator
~ Olive oil for drizzling
~ ¼ cup butter (1/2 a stick)
~ 3 cups onion, chopped
~ ¾ cup carrot, chopped
~ ½ cup celery, chopped
~ 4 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1 inch pieces
~ 6 cups chicken broth
~ 3 tablespoons fresh sage
~ ½ cup heavy whipping cream, plus some for garnishing
~ Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Take cut garlic and rub oil on both sides. Put garlic halves back together and wrap with tin foil. Roast garlic in the oven for 40 minutes.
Melt butter in a large pot and add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until vegetables are slightly tender (approximately 5 minutes). Add butternut squash, 2 tablespoons sage and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then let simmer (uncovered) for 35 minutes or until the squash is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mash garlic with a fork and add to the squash mixture.
Use an immersion blender to mix the soup thoroughly; soup should have a creamy texture. If planning on serving later, do not add cream. If serving immediately, stir in ½ cup cream. To serve, garnish with a drizzle of cream and fresh sage. DEVOUR!!