I woke up this weekend morning and really felt like there were only two options for my day: pajama bottoms and soup. With the holidays (and Black Friday television commercials) upon us, it feels like the season is breaking down our doors. Not subtle. Well, Thanksgiving… if you’re going to come barging in here, please just know I’ll be dressed in my sleepytimes and gorging on this soup. It’s vegan. It’s guilt-free gorging.
This soup is totally a holiday-worthy dish… but my mind is really fighting the notion of turkey and stuffing. Can we just make some soup and biscuits, watch Ben Affleck in The Town (because I’m weirdly obsessed with that movie) and call it a day?
I don’t have all the answers. I do have all the soup.
I love when the start of a recipe involves a roasting pan. In this case, small Sugar Pumpkins are sliced in half, de-seeded and de-stringed, and placed to roast.
Sugar Pumpkins are great for roasting. They’re petite in stature, and much more ideal for roasting than a pumpkin your might pick up for Halloween carving. Sugar pumpkins have a slightly more dense and less stringy flesh. Ideal.
I’m not sure soup can be considered soup without onions and garlic in some variation. Strawberry Soup…ew.
Onions and garlic are cooked down with olive oil. This alone will make your house smell like success.
I like to add curry powder to the cooking onions and garlic… the heat really brings out the flavor of the spice.
And… what do cashews have to do with this soup!? Cashews are our vegan creamy secret weapon. Cashews are soaked for about and hour then blended into a soft milk. When added to the soup the cashew cream adds a creamy richness without the use of a cow. It’s pretty brilliant. I first discovered this technique when I made this Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup, and I’ve been obsessed ever since.
Pumpkins are cleaned, scraped, and drizzled generously with olive oil, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes.
A hot oven does all the work of making these pumpkin halves soft, tender, and utterly delicious.
Essentially what we’re making is curry-spiced pumpkin velvet.
With silky cashew cream mixed through, this soup becomes a little bowl of wonder. These are simple ingredients made to shine. Onion and garlic pull their weight. Pumpkin is putting in some overtime. Curry powder really takes charge as an alluring and totally comforting spice.
This soup is also fairly flexible! I blended my soup smooth with an immersion blender. If you don’t have one on hand, the soup can be transferred to a regular blender in batches and made smooth. If you don’t have any blender option at all, this soup would also be just lovely as a chunky soup.
If raw cashews are too hard to come across, not to worry… this soup is also just great without the cashew cream. Add a peeled, and cooked potato for a bit of added dreaminess.
It’s totally that time of year again. Are you in a Thanksgiving frenzy? Are you thinking about just buying frozen appetizers and pre-made pie crusts just to save your sanity? I understand… very much.
Here are a few of the recipe I’m brainstorming for the upcoming eat-fest holiday.
Baked Brie Bites are an appetizing wonder. The beauty of these bites is that they can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer. Cross appetizers off the list!
I always want my salads to look like I spend an entire day planning their greatness… but I want them to only take about 20 minutes to make. Apple Pomegranate Brussels Sprout Salad is the answer.
Hassleback Potatoes with Spinach Cashew Cream are a total show-stopper. They’re a show-off potato… it’s all the fancy slicing and the tiny slivers of garlic that are placed between every slice. My favorite part about these potatoes are the buttered crisp potato skins. Fancypants delicious!
I am just the happiest baker in the world with a pavlova in front of my face. I love the crisp texture and soft center. This time of year, homemade cranberry sauce makes every bit of sense. I love this combination: Pavlovas with Cranberry Orange Rosemary Sauce
This Salted Caramel Cheesecake Pie wins the award for the most lovely special occasion dessert. You might consider doubling the caramel recipe just so you have enough to pour all over your body. Or maybe that’s just me…
I hope your holiday is filled a tremendous amount of pumpkin, caramel, and cranberries in whatever incarnation feels happy to you.
I love you, I do.
Vegan Creamy Curried Pumpkin Soup
makes about 12 cups
2 sugar pumpkins for roasting (pumpkins need to yield between 4 and 5 cups of roasted pumpkin)
olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes for roasting
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
4 cups roasted pumpkin flesh (from what we roasted above)
6 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
sage leaves quick fried in oil and good olive oil for garnish
For Cashew Cream:
1 cup raw cashews (raw cashews are important because they’re more soft that the roasted variety)
1 cup water
First prepare the cashews for the cashew cream. In a small bowl combine cashews and water. Set aside. Allow to soak for at least 1 hour.
Place a rack in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly drizzle two baking sheets with olive oil. Set aside.
Slice pumpkins in half. Use a spoon to scrape out all of the seeds and strings. The seeds can be rinsed and saved for roasting. Discard the guts and strings.
Place pumpkins so that the scraped flesh is face up. Drizzle each half with olive oil, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Place in the oven and allow to roast until soft and a fork inserted through the flesh meets no resistance, about 30-40 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest until cool enough to handle. Once cool enough to handle, scoop soft pumpkin flesh out of the pumpkin skin, measuring 4 cups into a medium bowl. Set side.
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until browned and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute more. Add curry powder and cook for one minute more. Add 4 cups of pumpkin flesh and stir until incorporated. Add vegetable broth and stir to combine. Bring soup to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to blend the soup until creamy. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can add the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. This can be done in several batches.)
Lastly make the cashew cream. In a blender combine cashews and its soaking water. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Add cashew cream to the blended pumpkin soup. Stir to combine.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil and fried sage leaves.