Creamy, dreamy butternut squash soup is one of my very favorite things about autumn. The rich, delectable blend of flavors is irresistible. The only problem is that, when this favorite of comfort foods becomes a little TOO comforting and I eat three bowls of it, I have to live with the terrible guilt of having consumed very fattening and almost undoubtedly non-vegan fare. So, I came up with this delightful, guilt-free version of my own. It is every bit as flavorful and creamy as the "regular" versions, but has none of the fat (particularly, animal fat) and a fraction of the calories. I can't keep my husband out of it! I hope you love it as much as we do!
What you'll need:
- 1 tablespoon organic canola oil
- 1 cup chopped vidalia or yellow onion
- 2 - 3 cloves minced fresh garlic
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 6 cups vegetable stock or broth
- 2 1/2 lbs. fresh butternut squash, peeled, cored, and diced (since peeling and dicing this squash is definitely the most time-and-energy-consuming part of this recipe, nobody will think less of you for buying the pre-peeled and chopped kind! It even comes organic now)
- 4 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and diced (feel free to experiment with the types of pears you use--they can change the flavor of the soup in unexpected and interesting ways!)
- 1/2 a 16oz. package of silken tofu
Add the veggie stock, squash, and pears. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes (or until squash is very tender). Remove the soup from heat and add the tofu. Puree the mixture using an immersion/hand blender, and enjoy! If you don't have an immersion blender, I suggest you buy one, as they are inexpensive and super-duper handy, but you can definitely get around this by using a regular blender, so worry not!
*A note about spices: for my beloved readers who have not yet discovered the joys of using organic cooking spices, I just want to urge you to buy a couple of your very favorites and give them a try; compare the scent, color, and most importantly, flavor, against their non-organic counterparts, and I absolutely guarantee you'll be impressed! One of the easiest things you can do to make your cooking taste more gourmet is to upgrade to organic spices. I've also found that they don't have to be cost-prohibitive! At Fairway in NYC, I find them for $3 a bottle! Awesome! So give it a shot--you won't be disappointed.