A Bowl of Sunshine: Butternut Squash

It may still be officially summer but fall is coming fast. And if you live in a place like Canada, that season change is quick. By the blink of an eye, its winter. So to stay prepared I am already trying out some soup recipes. I want to be eating something nourishing, filling and quick to make. So the first one is Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato. This was honestly the first time I ever worked with Butternut squash but I was very very happy with results. I think I may have just found a new staple in my pantry.

I got an inspiration from Fablunch’s butternut squash soup but I varied it with the sweet potatoes and the coconut tones. Check out her blog

http://blog.fablunch.com/vegan-butternut-squash-soup/

Adding these extra flavours made the soup sweeter and very fragrant.

Ingredients–makes 4 large servings

IMG_2294

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 medium regular sweet potato
  • 2 cups of water
  • 4 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

Directions

I will like to point out that there are two different ways to approach this recipe. The slightly longer yet flavourful route of baking the sweet potato or the quickest-gets-the-job done way of boiling the sweet potato. I love spending more time on this soup when I have the extra time but if I am craving a sweet, warm soup then I can definitely hash this out in a matter of an hour.

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
  2. Then empty the core of the butternut squash and score it for roasting. Put the garlic cloves in the butternut squash and lay the rosemary sprigs across the squash and in the core. Pop it in the oven for about 25-30 minutes till the flesh is soft.

    • if you want to go the quicker route, you can peel the butternut squash and cut it into chunks. The garlic will not be toastedIMG_2307
  3. In a large saucepan, add the coconut oil and the spices to toast them and release more of the flavour. Chop up the sweet potato into chunks and add it to the pan. Then add one cup of water and two cups of squash.
    • if not baking the squash, toss the chunks into this saucepan and cook down. With this add all the liquid and vegetable stock to just begin the cook down process already and skip Steps 4-6
  4. After 20 minutes check on the roasting squash by poking it with something. If the poking object goes into the flesh of the squash smoothly and comes out without any residue then the squash is ready.
  5. Scoop up the flesh, remove the rosemary and garlic and chuck the flesh into the boiling potato.
  6. Add the rest of the water and stock and cook down the mixture for about 15 minute till everything is tender and the squash and potato has kind of dissolved into the mixtureIMG_2311
  7. After everything is soft add half of the coconut milk and the nutritional yeast and then take the mixture of the heat for blending.
  8. If you have a hand blender, you can blend up your mixture in the pot and you are basically done, but if you have a regular blender like mine, you would need the soup to cool down before blending. Also with a regular blender remember to blend in more that two parts because with hot liquids, safety comes first and you don’t want any hot soup spilling, even if it has cooled down just sticking to safe kitchen practicesIMG_2321
  9. the bright yellow will just make you smile. Its almost like a reminder of the sun on a cold gloomy winter’s days.

I love to top the soup with pine nuts for extra crunch. I love to pair the soup with sandwiches or salads.

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