Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Roasted Butternut Squash Coconut Soup

After a bit of a lengthy hiatus, I am back! In hopes of helping people move towards more sustainable eating practices, I will begin again to post recipes and tips about cooking plant-based meals.  Recently, I came across a recipe for butternut squash coconut soup that called for Thai red chili paste.  I did not have this ingredient, but I did have sriracha sauce.  I wasn't sure whether it would work as a substitution, so I made two batches of soup with identical ingredients and procedures, except that in one I used roasted red chili paste (I had gone out and purchased it for the recipe) and in the other I used sriracha sauce (identical quantities).  I changed a couple of things about the recipe, so I think it is ok to post my version here without risking plagiarism.  My experiment told me that the soups tasted pretty much the same, except that the version with roasted red chili paste was not at all spicy, while the version with sriracha sauce was a little spicy.  I prefer the spiciness of the sriracha version, so I will share that version with you.  Also note that I decided to spice up the red chili paste version afterwards by stirring a squirt of sriracha sauce into a bowl of the soup when I reheated it in the microwave.  This resulted in an even spicier version, which I also liked.  The recipe below contains just enough sriracha for a slightly spicy soup, but if you like it spicier, you can just add more sriracha to taste.

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash, approximately 2 lbs., cut in half lengthwise and scoop out/discard seeds
extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 TBS sriracha sauce
5 cups vegetable broth
2-15 oz. cans coconut milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with coconut oil.  Place squash halves cut-side down on baking sheet and roast in heated oven until soft when poked with a fork (about a half hour).

Meanwhile, in a pot saute onions over medium heat in olive oil or coconut oil until translucent.  Stir in garlic. After about 30 seconds (before garlic browns), stir in sriracha sauce. Turn off heat if you are waiting for butternut squash to finish roasting.  When butternut squash has finished roasting, peel off skin and discard (you might want to wait a little while so that it is cool enough to handle).  Turn on stove again to medium heat.  Add butternut squash to ingredients in pan and stir everything together, trying to mash up the squash a bit so that it mixes up with the other ingredients.  Add vegetable broth and heat to boiling.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add coconut milk and heat for about a minute.  Puree soup in blender, or with a hand blender in the pot. Makes about 3 quarts soup, approximately 6-8 servings.