Feb 21, 2013

Creamy. Vegan. Roasted. Butternut Squash Soup + Grilled Cheeze Croutons

My apologies for being absent from your inbox for too long! We’re finally home from a 2-week trek to Colorado. 3,200 miles later, I’m travel-worn and road-weary. Came in to a bare fridge and a needy cupboard. Hm, what to make… ah, yes. There it was. A lonely butternut squash sitting patiently on my baker’s rack.

This recipe is simple. Trust me, I needed simple today. Roasting the squash brings out its natural sweetness and along with the carrot juice, this could be a dessert! But the grilled cheese (cut it up into croutons for fun or leave it whole, it’s up to you) adds the perfect slightly salty element to this sweet, homey dish. Yes, I said homey. I am SO glad to be home! Oh, yes of course, I used vegan cheese and Ezekiel bread for the grilled cheeze croutons…

yummy squash, before and after roasting
Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash
  • 1 cup carrot juice (fresh if you can but almost all grocery stores sell carrot juice in the produce section now—isn’t that cool?)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2 cups soy milk or other unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • small amount olive oil
  • 1 TBS no-salt Spike seasoning

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Slice squash lengthways and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Spread a bit of olive oil evenly over the exposed flesh of the squash.
  4. Place into a baking dish, cut side up, and roast until tender. A fork should glide easily into the squash when it’s done. Mine took about 1 hour, 15 minutes. 
  5. Let cool enough so you can handle it.
  6. Place cashews into a blender and add enough soy milk just to cover.
  7. Blend until smooth.
  8. Scoop out the cooked flesh of the squash.
  9. Add it and all remaining ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.
  10. Transfer to a pot and simmer for about 20 minutes until hot (see notes).

Makes about 4 cups, serving 2 hungry travelers. Enjoy!

Helyn’s Notes: This soup will be VERY thick. So be careful when you’re heating it up. It can tend to bubble up and spurt out forcefully (and suddenly!) when it gets hot. I suggest using a very low heat and a lid and stirring often for even heating and less spurting!

~~~

some pics on the way home and a haiku inspired by the Collegiate Mountains…

dancing in the Colorado winter… 8,500 feet above sea level…

8 degrees and WINDY…

in the blinding morning sun…

it’s so good to be alive!

snow-capped mountain peaks 
receding in the distance
highway in the sky
~

Healthy trails,

4 responses to “Creamy. Vegan. Roasted. Butternut Squash Soup + Grilled Cheeze Croutons”

  1. Grilled cheeze croutons are brilliant! Thanks for sharing the idea and the recipe! 🙂

  2. Helyn says:

    You're welcome! 🙂

  3. Angelique says:

    Is there a trick to slicing or cutting up butternut squash? Squashes are too hard for me to cut into. Is there a way to "pre-soften" them in the oven?

  4. Helyn says:

    Hi Angelique,

    Well, unfortunately that ARE hard to cut. What I do is use a large, sharp knife and take off the ends first. Then stand it on the large end and slice down the middle. The key is a sharp knife. A good one. OR… you could buy them already cut up, frozen. I know it's not the same but they do sell them this way. Most grocery stores and Trader Joe's has them cut up fresh, not frozen. Hope this helps!

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