Growing up the only soup I ever had was out of a can, “Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup”. I remember my Mom making it for me when I was sick, but we never had it for a regular meal. As a newlywed, I did not know how to cook and my go to meal was a can of “Campbell’s Tomato Soup” and grilled cheese sandwiches. To this day, my husband refuses to eat tomato soup or grilled cheese sandwiches!
Soup has become one of my favorite vegan meals. What I love about soups is that you can find fresh ingredients year around to make the most amazing varieties of soups that are healthy and tasty. It normally involves a lot of chopping, sautéing and sometimes pureeing, but the end result is so worth it. I love making a big pot of Vegan Minestrone soup, then I have a nice meal for dinner guests or my husband and I have several meals for the week. It also can be frozen for a later time.
This past summer, my husband and I joined a community garden in our neighborhood and had so much fun growing and eating all different kinds of vegetables. We grew a variety of squash, but the butternut squash was one of my favorites. It did not mature until late August and early September, but we were able to store them in a cool place and have enjoyed eating them all winter.
The following recipe is one of my favorite ways to prepare butternut squash. The roasting of the butternut squash and the apples bring out all the flavors and the cashew milk makes for a very rich soup.
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch pieces (about 12C)
- 4 or 5 Granny Smith or other tart apples, peeled, cored, and cut into wedges (about 5C)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 C Cashew Milk (recipe below)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Put the squash, apples, onions, and garlic in a large bowl and toss with the oil, salt, and cayenne. Arrange the mixture in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and roast until tender and lightly browned, about 45 minutes.
- Allow the ingredients to cool for 20 minutes then transfer to a blender. Depending on the size of your blender, it may have to be done in stages. Start on low speed and blend until smooth. Add up to 1 ¼ C room temperature water, ¼ C at a time, until the soup has the desired consistency. Put the blended soup in a large pot, whisk in the Cashew Milk, reheat if needed, and adjust the seasoning. Ladle into bowls and serve hot.
- 1C raw cashews, whole or pieces
- 2 C room temperature water
- Grind the cashews to a fine powder in a blender or food processor, stopping and stirring occasionally to ensure uniform grinding. Depending on the machine you use, this will take 1 to 3 minutes. Stop before the nuts turn into a paste.
- Add the water, blend on medium speed for 30 seconds, and then stop and stir up any nuts that stick to the sides of the container. Blend on high speed for 2 minutes. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Shake well before using.
Donna Plunkett and her husband, Terry, retired to the “Big City” five years ago after living in Colorado Springs for 42 years. After our children grew up and left home after college and our parents passed, we decided to make the move to Denver. We absolutely love everything Denver has to offer; the arts and cultural events, restaurants, parks, hiking and biking trails, the Rockies games and especially how friendly everyone is here.