sometimes, it’s nice to pretend

I want so badly for it to be fall. I’ve opened my windows in the vain hope that a cool October breeze might flow through them, but the only thing coming through is some very loud Tejano music from my neighbor’s house. That’s okay, though, because dinner tonight tasted like fall and that’s really all that matters. Butternut squash soup is one of my all-time favorite cold weather soups, and anyway, I’ve been looking for an excuse to use my fancypants immersion blender my boyfriend’s mom gave me for my birthday back in June.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (Vegan, serves 4)

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash
1 can organic coconut milk
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp white pepper
Salt to taste
Optional: 3 tbsp mulling spices, 3 sachets ginger tea

1. Cut the butternut squash in half, lengthwise, and place on a sheet tray lined with foil. Scoop out the seeds and save them if you’d like toasted seeds on top of your soup as a garnish. Rub the squash halves with olive oil and put into the oven to roast at 400 degrees for about an hour.

2. Drizzle a whole clove of garlic with olive oil and wrap it up in a little foil pouch to roast along with the squash. Take it out after about 25 minutes, though!

*Optional: while your squash and garlic are roasting, you’ll prepare a spiced tea to add to the soup when you’re finishing it on the stove. I thought this was sort of a genius idea, but flavoring things with tea is always really difficult. The results were more subtle than I would have liked, but still noticeable. I bought mulling spices in bulk from Whole Foods, and simmered 3 tbsp in 1 cup of water along with 3 ginger teabags on the stove for about 30 minutes. It made the house smell amazing and produced a really strong spiced tea- yum!

2. When your squash is done roasting, remove it from the oven and let it cool. After it’s cooled, scoop out the meat and add it to a large soup pot along with the roasted garlic.

3. Add a can of coconut milk and use an immersion blender to combine the roasted squash, garlic, and coconut milk.

4. Heat the soup on medium-low and stir in the spiced tea, white pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and sea salt to taste.

5. In a small pan, toast the seeds you reserved earlier and season with salt. Once the soup is heated through, ladle into a bowl and garnish with toasted squash seeds.

Here’s to fall (and boots weather!)