Fall Comfort ~ Butternut Squash Soup

As featured on my radio program, The Dish with Nancy Newcomer along with 40 Simple Ways to practice Self-Kindness...comfort food & self-kindness go together
This recipe is also available along with all my favorite soups in salads in my e-cookbook, The Best of Back to the Kitchen~Soups & Salads, Vol 1

Fall is  my favorite time of the year. Halloween,
fun festivities, celebrations and decorations leading up
to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years evoke vivid
childhood memories. I remember coming home for dinner
after playing outside for hours with the neighborhood
kids. The feeling of warmth on my cold, rosy cheeks as I
walked inside the house was wonderful. The smells from
the kitchen were pure heaven. My mom put a homemade family dinner on the table every night. It always tasted great, especially after working up an appetite from an afternoon of running around with my friends.

This time of year brings back those days and inspires me
to get in the kitchen and cook up my own tasty, hearty
dishes. Roasted root veggies, pumpkin bread, pot roast,
pies, soups and stews. Let’s break out the crock pot and
pressure cooker! So many choices, where do I begin?
And then there’s Thanksgiving and Christmas to think
about. Even if you “don’t cook” and all of this sounds
overwhelming, no worries. There are always fun, simple
things you can make that don’t take a lot of time and also
make you look pretty bitchin’ in the kitchen. Here’s one
of my favorites ~ easy enough for an everyday meal but so
beautiful, it’s worthy of Grandma’s bone china soup tureen
on your Thanksgiving table.  Enjoy!

Nancy’s Butternut Squash Soup
(dairy-free & gluten free)


* 2 TB olive oil
* 1/2 small onion chopped
* 1 med yukon gold potato peeled & cubed
* 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, & cubed
* 4 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth for vegan)
* ¼ cup fresh orange juice
* 1 tsp sea salt
* 1/2 tsp nutmeg
* Sprigs of parsley for garnish


1. Sautee onion, potatoes, & squash in olive oil until
slightly browned.
2. Transfer into soup pot and add enough broth to cover
3. Bring to a boil and the lower to a simmer for 30-40
min–until veggies are soft.
4. Let cool off a little and either use a blender “wand” OR
just throw into a blender to puree until smooth. Add orange
juice and stir in.
5. Pour back into pot and add as much of the remaining
chicken broth for the consistency you prefer.
6. I like mine a little on the thicker side. Reheat to barely
a boil. Ready to serve garnish with parsley sprinkles.

35 Pantry “Must-Haves”

I was recently asked what I have stocked in my pantry. Truth be told, I’ve paired things down quite a bit after downsizing to my current kitchen. I only have a couple of shelves and drawers to store things in, so I rotate items more often than I used to. That being said, I’ve put together a list of my 35 favorite Pantry “Must-haves” so that I’m well-stocked with the staples.

Pantry Must Haves:

olive oil

coconut oil



soy sauce or gluten free tamari

dijon mustard

coconut milk

canned tomatoes

pasta sauce (read the labels)




pasta or rice pasta

dry beans & lentils

dried onions

nuts and nut butters







coarse sea salt

All purpose flour



baking soda

baking powder

corn starch





Of course, if you want to go over 35 items, there are plenty of other things we could add to the list, especially when you get in the realm of herbs and spices. Be in touch -let me know if you have anything to add to the list–I’d love to hear from you.

Dairy Free Fudgsicles

Dairy Free Fudgsicles
yield: 6

2 cups coconut milk

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla

¼ cup honey or maple syrup


Combine all ingredients in a blender for about 1-2 minutes, until fully blended. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.

**Recipe Note: You may use almond milk instead of coconut milk, but your fudgsicle will be more icy in texture as opposed to creamy. For a creamier fudgsicle, use full fat coconut milk.

AND…if you like to change things up, try these Fudgsicles with a Twist~

1) Coffee Mocha: use ½ cup cooled brewed coffee & 1 ½ cups coconut milk.

2) Mint Chocolate: add 1 tsp peppermint extract or ¼ tsp peppermint oil

3) Strawberry Chocolate: slice 6 large strawberries and place in mold before pouring in liquid. Use a chopstick to arrange if need be.