vegan creamy roasted acorn squash soup

Thanks to many vegan food bloggers, I’ve learned several ways to achieve creamy texture without using animal products. One of these tricks is soaked raw cashews. With the creaminess taken care of, all we need is flavor boosting. Roasting squash, shallots and garlic builds flavor while you’re free from stovetop sauteeing. All you do for this soup is cut up the squash, halve the shallots, pluck some garlic bulbs off a clove, and bake them with some olive oil.  Then get the cashews soaking in enough water to cover them. After thirty-five minutes, place roasted squash in your vitamix or other heavy-duty blender and blend with all other ingredients. If your blender doesn’t like hot liquids (some don’t), blend in batches or let it cool some before blending. Top with ground nutmeg and cracked black pepper.   Somewhere between light and hearty, this soup goes well with sourdough bread.

Prep Time:  8 minutesacornsoup
Bake Time: 35 minutes
Blender time: 4 minutes
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 acorn squash
2 med. shallots, cut in half
4 cloves garlic, whole
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 1/2 c mushroom broth or vegetable broth
1 1/4 c water plus some for baking dish and cashew-soaking
1/2 c nutritional yeast
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 -2 sprigs fresh rosemary, or 1/2 t dried
1 t salt, or to taste ( I used pink himalayan)
1 t black pepper, plus some to garnish
1 t freshly ground nutmeg, plus some to garnish

Step One:   Preheat oven to 425. Cut acorn squash in halves, scrape out seeds. Cut them into three-inch chunks (for faster baking). Place in baking dish, along with halved shallots and garlic cloves. Leave peel/skin on shallots and garlic. Drizzle olive oil over all and stir to coat. Put some water in the pan (about 1/4 inch). Bake uncovered for thirty-five minutes  or till soft.

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Step Two:  While squash is roasting, cover cashews with water and let soak.  Gather other ingredients.

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Step Three: Remove roasted squash from oven. Peel garlic and shallots. Place all in Vitamix and add (drained) cashews, broth, water, nutritional yeast, rosemary, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Blend on high for 2 -3 minutes or till pureed. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Serve hot with a little more nutmeg and pepper sprinkled over top.

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five-minute tomato coconut sauce and soup

1 can coconut milk 2 c tomato sauce 1/2 c sundried tomatoes 1 large garlic clove 1 c cilantro  1 serrano pepper 3 limes 1/2 t ground ginger
1 can coconut milk
2 c tomato sauce
1/2 c sundried tomatoes
1 large garlic clove
1 c cilantro
1 serrano pepper
3 limes
1/2 t ground ginger

Confession:  I attempted to make a quick and easy Thai tomato coconut soup.  It turned out to be  a nice thick sauce.  I then discovered it works just fine diluted and heated as soup!  What do you know, a ‘twofer’! Keep a jar of the made-up sauce in the fridge for wraps, salads, or to top steamed vegetables.  For soup, take 1/4 cup of sauce and stir it into piping hot water.  Squeezing the limes is the only ‘work’ involved here.  It turns out quite limey, so if you prefer it less so, two limes will do.

Step 1:  Gather ingredients; squeeze limes.

Step 2:  Blend all in Vitamix at high speed till smooth, about 2 minutes. Taste, and add a little salt or Bragg’s Aminos if you like (especially for soup; I leave it out for sauce).

two minutes!
two minutes!

That’s it, for wrap sauce.  This made two 2-cup jars of sauce.

as wrap sauce, with steamed broccoli, strips baked tofu, red pepper, garlic & onion sprouts, and romaine lettuce
as wrap sauce, with steamed broccoli, strips baked tofu, red pepper, garlic & onion sprouts, and romaine lettuce

For soup, add 1/4 c sauce to 1 c piping hot water or vegetable broth for each serving.

as a light, nutritious soup; 1/4 c sauce + 1 c hot water or broth
as a light, nutritious soup; 1/4 c sauce  plus 1 c hot water or broth

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