If the week before Christmas is as crazy busy for you as it is for me, you might want to try my butternut squash and sweet potato soup.
It can cook all day in the slow cooker while you’re at work or doing some last minute shopping, and only needs a few minutes of hands-on time when you get home to convert your simmering veggies into a delectable dinner for your family.
And did I mention that the silky smooth soup is completely vegan?
The ingredients are simplicity at its best – organic onions, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots – all my favorite orange veggies!
The kick comes from the spices – cumin, cinnamon, coriander, cayenne, dry mustard, and ginger. It doesn’t seem at that spicy when you first take a sip, but the warmth grows pleasantly at the back of your palate!
I served it for the second time last night with a lovely green salad with fresh organic sunflower seed sprouts from my pal, Gordon Mullins, at Good Dude Greens. Gordon grows his delicious sprouts in soil, instead of water – and claims they are more nutrient dense as a result! I added organic leaf lettuce, grape tomatoes, yellow and orange peppers, carrots, avocado, and some sunflower seeds for crunch to create a tasty and nutritious complement to my soup. I am probably never going to become a full-time vegan because I like cheese and dairy products too much. But I feel cleaner, lighter, and healthier when I eat vegan a couple of days a week.
This simple meal is a great way to try out a vegan meal and see if you do too!
- 1 tablespoon organic olive oil
- 1 Vidalia onion, minced
- 1 small organic butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 2 organic sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 3 organic carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 cups organic vegetable stock (you may need more depending on how much it cooks down)
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Dried organic pepitos (pumpkin seeds) for garnish
- Using the Cuisinart Cook Central or another slow cooker with a saute function, turn the saute temperature to its lowest setting (usually 275 degrees), add the olive oil, and saute your onion for about f5-6 minutes until translucent. Add the squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Saute for about 5-6 more minutes until the veggies are just a tiny bit brown. (if you don't have a slow cooker with a saute function do all of step one in a skillet and then transfer to a slow cooker.)
- Add all of the other ingredients except the pumpkin seeds and cook on low for at least 4 hours.
- Puree the well-cooked veggies and a portion of the liquid in a blender or food processor until perfectly smooth. (You will probably need to do this in two batches.)
- Add a little more stock if needed to thin the soup to the right consistency. If you have used additional cold or room temperature stock, you may want to return the pureed soup to the slow cooker to make sure that it is nice and warm. Taste, and adjust the seasonings. Serve with a garnish of dried pumpkin seeds for some crunch and contrast. Delish!
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