The key to make this soup fast and flavorful is to cut all the veggies very small and cooking a mixture of aromatics before adding the rest of the ingredients. #vegan #asianinspired #butternutsquash #sweetpotato #soup
Last year, I started to follow the Hippocrates Institute fasting schedule and every Wednesday, I only consume a liquid diet from the time I wake up until about 5:00 p.m. At that time I break the liquid fast with a lite raw vegan meal. However, for the past three months - that I have been so busy - I have not been very disciplined with this schedule and when I get to do it, I am super hungry. Today was one of those days, and by 9:00 p.m. I was starving! I was craving something fulfilling, comforting and warming - it was raining all afternoon, so that might have been why I was soo hungry :( don't you want to eat more when is raining? -
Instead of going to sleep, I went to the kitchen, at 9:00 p.m. to see what I could make in a flash with all those attributes. I cook from the heart and with what I have in my pantry - which is usually plenty - I found 1/2 a piece of a sweet potato, 1/2 of a butternut squash, plenty of aromatics - which are always in abundance in my fridge - such as lemon, ginger, cilantro, Soy sauce, garlic - hmm and so I created this Asian inspired soup! Yes!
I have done many butternut squash & creamy soups, and many Thai, Curried and Asian inspired too, but this one was special, it was so lite and super flavorful, it hit all the notes without being too creamy nor spicy. It was soooo delish that my boyfriend (who don't like this kind of pureed vegan soups) almost leave me with nothing! And that's why I rushed to the computer to type this recipe, so I don't forget what I did.
Garnish? Yes, please...
Although garnishes are usually optional in most recipes, I invite you to always garnish your dishes to take them to the next level. For this soup, the salty cashews gives texture and crunchiness and the cilantro adds freshness and color contrast which will appeal to all the senses.
And without further delay, here it is the recipe. Keep in mind, that I created this with what I have in my pantry, feel free to substitute with similar ingredients or flavors to your preferences.
Lite, Quick & Easy - Asian Inspired - Butternut Squash & Sweet Potatoes Soup
Serves 2 (or one very hungry )
1 tablespoon avocado oil (Coconut or Grape-seed oil)
¼ cup red pepper (seeded & cut in small dice)
1 cup of butternut squash (peeled, seeded and cut in small cubes)
½ cup sweet potato (peeled, and cut in small cubes)
1/4 cup Zucchini squash, cut in small cubes (optional)
2 cups vegetable broth (or water with 1 tsp of soy sauce)
½ cup unsweetened coconut & cashew milk (or light unsweetened coconut milk*)
Aromatics & Seasonings
½ cup yellow onion, cut in small dice
2 large cloves garlic, smashed
1 (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger, roughly chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Mirin (which is a sweetened Sake, substitute with 1 Tbsp of unsweetened rice vinegar + 1 tsp of agave or honey)
Juice of half a lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons salted cashews or peanuts roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Heat a medium size soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the oil, the onion, red pepper, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 minutes. Do not let it get brown, add a little bit of the stock and take out of the heat if necessary.
Add soy sauce & Mirin (or rice vinegar + honey) and cook for a minute until well incorporated and you can smell the delicious aromas.
Add the stock, bring to a boil on a high heat.
Add the squash and sweet potato. The liquid should cover the veggies for about an inch, not much. Boil for about 7 minutes more, then lower the heat to medium low and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Don't let it dry, add more stock and adjust seasonings, if needed. Test veggies by piercing them a knife or fork, once they are done then...
Lower the heat, add the coconut & cashew milk, lemon juice and cook for about 3 more minutes at very low heat. Taste and season with salt & cayenne.
On the same pot, and using a hand-held immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, purée in a high-speed blender in two batches, do not fill it to the max, making sure to leave the hole in the lid open to allow the steam to escape or close and top it with a towel on top. Be very careful when doing this process.
Adjust the thickness by adding more stock or coconut milk to your preference. Taste and adjust the seasonings and the consistency, if necessary.
Serve the soup immediately in two bowls and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of each cilantro and cashews.
Do not add the garnishes if you are going to refrigerate and enjoy it later. This soup will refrigerate well up to 3 days stored in a Mason jar or glass covered container in the fridge. To reheat it on the stove-top add a little bit of broth (and/or coconut-cashew milk) to take it back to the right consistency, add garnishes and enjoy.
*I used for this soup the Organic Coconut Cashew-milk from the Forager Project brand - this is NOT AN AD - I discovered it recently and I love it.
Get inspired with the ingredients in your kitchen...
No recipe should be written in stone, cook the way you like to eat. If you don't have all the ingredients, improvise, no sweet potatoes, make it only with Butternut Squash or vice-versa. The ingredients that gives the flavor profile, are the aromatics, so if you want the same flavors, keep those ingredients as close as possible, to enjoy this #delicious, #vegan, #warming, #comforting, #Asian #inspired #soup.
Happy Cooking and Eating for Good Health!