Monday, December 17, 2007
Lazy, comfortable Sunday evenings often put me into a soup mood. A creamy soup mood.
When I first became vegan, I stayed away from recipes that called for the addition of cream. But eventually, I started experimenting with coconut milk (Whole Foods has a great store-brand light coconut milk) and nut milks. The results were so good, they made me wonder why anyone uses cream in the first place when the options are so much more delicious, not to mention healthier!
Getting back to creamy soups, I made this one for the first time this past Saturday and it's already gone on my list of must-keep recipes. The best thing, apart from the taste, is that it is really simple to put together and uses seasonal acorn and butternut squash (you can substitute with most winter squashes or use just one type of squash). Using wine to caramelize the onions gives the soup a great depth of flavor despite the simple ingredient list.
I used almond milk for a delicious, creamy consistency, and garnished the end result with some caramelized onions and garlic.
I served this with some whole wheat bread croutons, made by slicing into small squares four whole wheat bread slices and then tossing them with pepper, salt and 1/2 tsp of dried basil. The croutons, spread on a cookie sheet, go into the oven for 5-7 minutes until lightly browned and crisp.
Heaven in a bowl.
Golden Winter Squash Soup
1 butternut squash, cut into halves
1 acorn squash, cut into halves
1 onion, sliced thin
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1-2 cups almond milk
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Place the butternut and acorn squash halves on a baking sheet and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork and is cooked through. The acorn squash might need more time than the butternut.
Remove from the oven and let stand while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add onions and garlic and the white wine. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes until the onions and garlic are soft and brown and caramelized. Reserve half the onion-garlic mixture and put the rest into a blender.
Peel off the skin from the squash when it's cool enough to handle. Cut into large chunks and toss into the blender along with the onion.
Add about a cup or more (adjust the consistency of the soup to your liking) almond milk and puree until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Return the puree to the pan and warm through. If the soup is too thick, you can add some more almond milk or vegetable stock or plain water.
Ladle into bowls and top each bowl with some caramelized onions, garlic and croutons.