November 17, 2011

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

Wish I had come up with this one on my own, but must thank the NY Times and Vegan Holiday Thanksgiving.  They deserve all the credit....  See Well's Vegetarian Thanksgiving for more vegetarian and vegan friendly dishes.

 See below for how I made this soup.
1 large butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil or other vegetable oil
1 large yellow or sweet white onion, chopped (I USED VIDALIA)
1 medium apple, any variety, peeled and diced (I USED HONEYCRISP)
2 cups prepared vegetable broth, or 2 cups water with 1 vegetable bouillon cube
2 teaspoons good-quality curry powder
2 teaspoons grated fresh or jarred ginger, or more, to taste
Pinch of ground nutmeg or allspice
1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 medium red onions, quartered and thinly sliced
1 good-size bunch kale (about 10 to 12 ounces) (DID NOT USE KALE)
Susan Voisin
1. To bake the squash, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut in half and place halves, cut side up, in a foil-lined, shallow baking dish and cover tightly with more foil. Bake for 30 to 50 minutes, until you can easily pierce the flesh with a knife. Scoop out and set aside.

2. Heat about half the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Add the apple, squash, broth and spices. Bring to a steady simmer, then cover and simmer gently until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes.

4. Transfer the solids to a food processor with a slotted spoon, in batches if need be, and process until smoothly pureed, then transfer back to the soup pot. Or better yet, simply insert an immersion blender into the pot and process until smoothly pureed.

5. Stir in the coconut milk and return the soup to a gentle simmer. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until well heated through. Season with salt and pepper. If time allows, let the soup stand off the heat for an hour or two, then heat through as needed before serving.

6. Just before serving, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet. Add the red onions and sauté over low heat until golden and soft.

7. Meanwhile, strip the kale leaves off the stems and cut into thin shreds. Stir together with the onions in the skillet, adding just enough water to moisten the surface. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the kale is bright green and just tender, about 5 minutes.

8. To serve, ladle soup into each bowl, then place a small mound of kale and onion mixture in the center.

Yield: 8 servings.
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crushed toasted cashews, or pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
Susan Voisin
1. Strip the kale leaves off the stems. Cut into ribbons and place in a large bowl.

2. With a little olive oil rubbed into your palms, massage the kale for a minute or so, until it becomes bright green and softens a bit.

3. Stir in the remaining ingredients and serve at room temperature.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

See all selected recipes from "Vegan Holiday Kitchen."
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From "Vegan Holiday Kitchen"

Seven Vegetable Couscous

Seven-vegetable couscous is a well-known offering at Sephardic Jewish New Year celebrations, but since it's a bountiful, colorful tribute to the harvest, it makes a great meat-free main dish for Thanksgiving as well. Despite the long ingredient list, it's as easy as can be to make.
1 1/2 cups couscous, uncooked
1 tablespoon vegan margarine
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 cup finely shredded white cabbage
1 medium turnip, peeled and diced
1 medium yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 15- to 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups diced ripe tomatoes
2 teaspoons grated fresh or jarred ginger, or more, to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Dried hot red pepper flakes, to taste, optional
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup golden raisins (for garnish)
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley (for garnish)
Sliced or slivered toasted almonds (for garnish)
Susan Voisin
1. Combine the couscous and 3 cups boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Cover and let stand until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then stir in the margarine, turmeric and salt. Cover and set aside.

2. For the vegetable stew, heat the oil in a large saucepan or soup pot. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Stir in cabbage and sauté until both it and the onion are lightly golden.

3. Add the remaining stew ingredients. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes. Add water as needed to produce a moist, but not soupy, consistency. The vegetables should be just tender, but still firm.

4. To serve, arrange the couscous on the outer edge of a large serving platter and make a well in the center. Pour the vegetable mixture in the center, then sprinkle with the garnishes, topping with sliced or slivered toasted almonds. Let each guest place a mound of couscous on his or her dinner plate and top it with the vegetable mixture.

Yield: 8 servings.

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