I know this blog has taken a bit of a turn in the last few weeks. It is true, I’m no longer “dieting” or following any diet related “program” (such as point counting, calorie counting, burn counting, carb counting… or any other kind of counting). I’m also not weighing myself or the food I eat. I’m not exercising like a crazy person to lose weight. One thing that hasn’t changed though is our vegan lifestyle. The day I stopped dieting and told myself that I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, I fully expected to want some kind of meat… and a whole lot of cheese… ooo, and a vat of butter too. I didn’t. My desire for those things disappeared a couple of weeks into eating this way and it hasn’t returned. In fact, the thought of eating them makes me gag a bit. The Husband and I fully adopted the belief that those things are not good for us and that conviction hasn’t changed. I don’t miss it, and I don’t feel deprived. Of course, there are plenty of junk foods that are vegan, so it’s not like we’ve eaten solely “whole food, plant based” like we should. Removing animal products is a big change. The last year has been one of discovery and adventure in the food arena.
So, in honor of passing our first anniversary (Oct 9th) of vegan eatin’, I thought I would share a soup I’ve recently added to our meal rotation. I made this soup one evening from what I had in the house. I “measured” everything “to smell”… so I have no real measurements, but it’s super simple to make.
Easy Butternut Squash Soup
Ingredients: 1 large Yellow Onion, Butternut Squash, Vegetable Broth, Apple Juice, Pumpkin Pie Spice & Crushed Red Pepper
Directions: Heat a little vegetable broth in the bottom of your soup pot. Add chopped up onion and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. Saute for a few minutes… then, add a little apple juice (I think it was about a quarter cup). I was going for a sweet/spice smell (yeah, I do a lot of my cooking “to smell”). Once the juice heats through, add the butternut squash. I buy the kind that is already cut into chunks at Costco. I hate cutting up butternut squash. Then pour in some more vegetable broth, fully covering the squash (about an inch or two above the squash). Another sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and a bit more apple juice goes in. Let that come to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pot, and let it simmer for an hour. When the timer goes off, transfer batches of the soup into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. I used the “soup” setting on my BlendTec. A word of warning though, don’t get in a hurry and overfill your blender. Having hot soup erupt all over you is messy and painful. I found this out the second time I made the soup. It took me twenty minutes to clean soup off of everything. Besides, it tastes too good to waste it on the floor… and the cabinets… and the appliances… and the walls… and the dog who might be standing underfoot. Ok, enough about that. I then poured all the soup back into the original pot and left it on low heat until we were all at the table, ready for dinner. My family really likes it, which isn’t always the case when I make stuff up.
Now, if you totally bomb this recipe (like forget to set the timer and it ends up a charred mess) or you think it tastes disgusting, let me recommend a vegan dining out experience that is one of my recent favorites:
Drive to California Pizza Kitchen (or order online for pick-up) – order the Split Pea + Barley Soup and the California Veggie Pizza without cheese on the thin crust. Yum!