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Monday, November 30, 2015

Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Despite coming to squash late in life, I do enjoy it.  Particularly roasted butternut squash.

Damn that shit is tasty.

Anyway, one of the easiest (and best, in my opinion) ways of cooking up squash, is to roast it and purée it into a soup.

And I figured why not roast a few other things in there too?

So, here's my delicious, completely vegan, roasted butternut squash soup!

So, what you see there is:
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 8-10 bay leaves
  • about a tablespoon of smoked hot paprika
  • about a tablespoon of freshly ground cumin seeds
  • about a tablespoon of smoked sea salt
That's it.

I don't know about you, but to me that has the makings for pretty much anything delicious.
So, the hardest part of this dish, and not really that difficult, is the prep and roasting work.
Not much needs to happen before roasting.  Quarter the squash.  Lightly oil the cut surfaces of the vegetables with a bit of canola or avocado oil and then place them neatly on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Roast these guys for about an hour at 350° or 375°.  At least the squash, anyway.  The smaller guys could come out sooner if you like.

While those are roasting in the oven, I got started on everything else.  The 'base' of the soup, if you will.

I chopped the onion and garlic loosely, and then sautéed them with a bit of vegetable oil, until the onion started to become translucent.

Next, I ground up the cumin seeds in my mortar and pestle.

And add that, along with the paprika and salt, to the pan.

Once that is nicely uniform, I turn off the heat and deglaze the pan with some stock.

I had a thing of vegan stock from a while back that I used.

But, because I was making a large amount of soup, I needed a bit more stock, so I added a carton of  organic vegetable broth.

Once all the gribblies come off the sides of the pan nicely, I carefully pour all of that pan into my blender.

That sits for now until the veggies have sufficiently roasted.

When they have, pull them out and let them cool a bit before handling them.

The skin on all of these guys comes off extremely easily once roasted, and it only takes a few minutes to get them all ready for the blender.

Don't use this stuff... in case you were wondering... ;)

Then add it all to the blender and blend!

It's that easy!

Once blended (it doesn't take much to completely liquify these guys after they've all been cooked), pour into your slow cooker, and add the bay leaves.


Then I let this simmer in the slow cooker for at least a few hours (I did about 5 or 6), but after that, a steaming hot bowl of hearty, healthy, vegan soup is ready whenever you like!

Feel free to tweak the spices too, while cooking, just don't lift that lid TOO often!  I added a bit more salt, just to take away some more of the sweetness imparted by the roasted vegetables.

And, when I served it, I added just a small piece of bread with vegan becel on it, just for crunch.  Many people recommend adding something crunchy (like toasted pumpkin seeds, or the like) on top when serving, but myself, I enjoy the uniform texture.  

The bread is there just to help spoon it in!

Unbelievably satisfying on a cold winter night!