With my fiancé recovering from oral surgery and the steady drizzle of Oregon November settling in, now seems like as good a time as any to get creative with soup.
Like many of my favorite recipes, this recipe for butternut squash soup comes from home—with a few vegan tweaks, of course. Before I was absolutely crazy about vegetables, this mild soup helped my adolescent taste buds realize that maybe veggies weren’t so bad after all. Warm cinnamon and nutmeg complements the natural sweetness of the squash, making for a comforting—though healthy—meal or side.
Comforting Vegan Butternut Squash Soup
1 large butternut squash, cut in half (or whatever you can safely manage!) and seeded
1 yellow onion, diced
1 quart veggie broth
½ cup coconut milk
2 tbls. coconut oil, divided
1 tbls. cinnamon, plus a dash for garnish
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
coconut or soy cream (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400F. With a large knife, halve the squash. Mine ended up in thirds. This works, too. Scoop the seeds out with a spoon. Rub the flesh (the orange part) of the squash with a spoonful of coconut oil. Place on a baking sheet, flesh side up. Bake for 60-75 minutes, or until flesh is fork-tender.
2. While your squash is baking, warm the remaining coconut oil in a large pot. At a medium-low heat, caramelize the diced onion. Remove from heat and set aside when perfectly caramelized.
3. Remove squash from the oven and allow it to cool. Using a fork and knife—no burning yourself allowed!—scrape the flesh away from the rind and add it to the pot of onions. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and veggie broth. Turn your burner to a low heat and allow the soup to simmer for 30-40 minutes.
4. Stir in coconut milk, and allow soup to cool before blending. You will likely have to blend the soup in a few batches.
5. Taste test for salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cinnamon and cream.
Also from Mary: Spicy Garlic Tofu Stir Fry
More soups: Hearty Autumn Chili
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Photo: Mary Hood