Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Vegan Autumnal Soup

OR: Acorn squash - sweet potato - coconut - cashew soup with a maple - lime - balsamic - cashew cream.

Good title? While I do blog about food, nutrition, and cooking, I am hardly a top notch food blogger. While I once had romantic visions of snapping away photos of beautiful beets, those dreams quickly dissipated when I realized that: 1) I am not even close to being a top notch food photographer (but I try!) and 2) I have an almost one year which gives me about half a second to even remember to take a photo of meals before they are demolished by tiny hands or the camera/phone is ripped out of my hands.

But I digress.

This soup is delicious, comforting, creamy, filling, and vegan! We are not vegans but we do eat a lot of vegan meals and I am always looking for ways to substitute cream without compromising flavor and texture. Enter: cashews. It's amazing how the consistency of blended cashews makes for a silky and think soup. If you haven't tried this yet to "cream" soups, go for it! It's super easy and adds protein to your meal without sacrificing richness. It is also such a neutral taste that it won't taste "nutty."

So do you want to know the secret to this marvelous "cream?" You soak the nuts. That's it! You soak them for a few hours, until they are soft enough to blend up.

On a side note, Phoenix is still sensitive to cow's dairy so while we do eat goat cheese and he can tolerate cow's milk yogurt, he and I try to avoid milk and cream. But he is happy to eat dairy less meals.

Anyway, here is a loose recipe. Loose because I didn't plan on posting it so I didn't take any measurements. This was literally a "what's-in-the-fridge" kind of meal. The only thing I did in advance was soak the cashews because I knew I wanted soup earlier in the day so by dinner time they were ready. With the rest of the ingredients more or less ready to go, all I had to do was blend it all together and warm it up. Easy!

The quantities are based on how much squash or potato you have on hand. You can play around with the cashews also, depending on how creamy you like your soup. I also added coconut milk because I wanted the flavor but you don't need to.

1 steamed or roasted sweet potato (I had leftovers in the fridge)
1 small roasted acorn squash (can also sub butternut or kabocha)
1/2 cup soaked cashews
1/4-1/2 cup coconut milk (depending on how loose you want the soup)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (you can really season it however you like)
salt to taste
water to loosen soup

Blend. Done. Top with maple - lime - balsamic - cashew cream. Yum.

The cream is equally as easy. I had extra soaked cashews left over so I just made this little sauce up and it was delicious.

1/2 cup soaked cashews
Juice from half a lime/whole lime depending on the size
Splash of balsamic
About 3 tablespoons maple syrup. (Taste as you go, this depends on your desired level of sweetness)
Pour some water in your blender as you blend. You will know whether or not you need more depending on how thick it is. You want to be able to use it as a sauce on your soup.

The left overs of this sauce are also delicious spread on bread or tossed with vegetables, spread on meat/fish, or mixed into a grain salad.

Run, don't walk, to make this soup.


  1. I've just recently come across your blog (sorry, I can't remember how I got here, I was down soem internet rabbit hole late the other night). Anyway, I am about jumping out of my skin to make this soup. Not that it's autumn where I am, or really soup weather, but the yumminess that leaps off the page makes me want to get down with some cashews and coconut milk (lots of that here!). So thanks! And bookmarked! Yum.

  2. the perfect meal for a cold november night!