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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash soup embodies fall, in my opinion. While I just received a good amount of squash and it is still summer, the flavor of butternut squash screams autumn. And I am not complaining.

Between butter, heavy cream/half n'half, and chicken stock, a typical butternut squash soup is far from vegan. And while you are still getting a ton of nutrition in a bowl, it can definitely be made healthier and without harming or exploiting any animals. So that is what I set out to do, natch. ;)

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

2 large butternut squash
1 large yellow onion
3 carrots
2 stalks celery
6 tablespoons coconut oil- (Don't be afraid of coconut oil! It helps fight Alzheimer's disease and helps the body to burn fat, among MANY other benefits. Imagine that :)
3 tablespoons sage
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked 6 hours or overnight
4 cups water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 tablespoon onion powder
fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel two big squash and scoop out seeds (reserve seeds- I have a post coming where I tell you what to do with them!) Chop up the squash into 1 inch cubes and lay them in a roasting pan. Roughly chop the onion, carrot, and celery into 1 inch pieces and add it to the roasting pan.

Drizzle in 4 tablespoons of coconut oil and toss the vegetables to coat. Sprinkle two tablespoons sage, one teaspoon nutmeg and toss again to coat.

Roast the mixture about 1/2 hour, or until everything is fork tender. Let cool.

Rinse the soaked cashews and put them in a blender. Add 4 cups water and blend on high until creamy.

In a big stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil on medium. Add the cashew milk and stir occasionally.

Put a little bit of the vegetable mixture into the blender and puree. Add a tiny bit of water (or the cashew milk from the pot) if the blender is not able to puree without it. Puree the mix in batches, and add the puree to the milk.

Stir the soup well to incorporate everything. Add the vegetable bouillon, onion powder, 1 tablespoon sage, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, few pinches salt, and fresh ground pepper to taste.

This made a very large batch for me- we were having guests and also wanted to have some leftover. It made a light lunch along with a cucumber salad.

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