Monday, January 10, 2011

Just Say No to Eating Animals Monday, Volume 10: Happy, Homey, and Healthy Soup

Easy Peasy, that’s what my Mum-in-Law would say. 

The gardening season is back up and going.  Some of you would ask did it ever stop?  It just slows down as is appropriate for the season.  One of the things you learn about growing plants is that a period of rest is required.  More gearing up posts to come, in the meantime you still need to fortify your body.

This year, like so many folks, I’ve decided there was no reason I couldn’t enjoy delicious food, that’s also nutritious, and shhhh, don’t tell anyone, relatively low-calorie (insert maniacal laughter here). 

This has been less difficult than you would imagine thanks to an array of cook books and websites.  This one I took to a recent household exchange. 

Don’t worry, it’s not like a lot of butternut squash dishes, it has a hefty savory profile.  It’s also refreshing because it lacks the heft you may be familiar with that often comes with butter and/or cream.

Butternut Baja Soup, slightly adapted from Eating Well: (Look Ma, It’s Vegan!), Serves 5 as a Main Course

1 ½      pounds butternut squash
1t.        vegetable oil (I used grape seed)
2          stalks of celery (leaves included), chopped
1          onion, chopped
1t.        cumin
½ t.      ground chipotle chile
1⁄8 t.      ground cloves
6 c.        vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cut squash in half, vertically, and remove seeds.  Place the squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Roast until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, approximately 30 minutes.  Allow squash to cool.  Then scrape flesh away from outer skin.  Set aside.

Heat oil in a dutch oven, or other large saucepan, over medium heat until it's shimmering.  Add celery and onion.  Cover and sweat until soft, stirring occasionally 8 to 10 minutes.  Add the squash, cumin, chipotle, and cloves.  Add broth and simmer until the vegetables are quite soft, about 15 minutes.

Puree the soup until smooth.

Okay, you can be fancy and make some nice bread to go with it. 

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