Nothing says the coming of fall like the smell of butternut squash roasting in the oven.
This is a staple in our house pretty much any time of year, but nothing is quite like it when the weather turns.
The rich golds and silky texture make this a joy to look at, and it’s just as perfect gulped down in a big cup on a cold day as it is dressed up for guests as a starter. That deep golden color can be made to look very fancy with shakes of paprika or a scatter of herbs or seeds!
Of course, the most wonderful thing as always with roasted-butternut-squash-anything is that it’s even better the next day.
You can freeze then reheat the soup no problem, and I usually have leftovers to fill a gap in the day if I’m home with some crunchy greens and a squeeze of lemon to brighten it up.
This particular vegan butternut squash soup recipe calls for coconut milk to give it the cream-less creaminess, paprika and chili for that one-two smoky-warmth, toasted pumpkin seeds for a bit of crunch and rosemary and apple to give a bright-but-earthy glow on the palette.
I’ve used some florets of cauliflower with the squash to give the soup a bit more body. This worked beautifully when making a creamy, smoky vegan cheese for mac and cheese, so I see no need to stop!
If you’re feeling daring (or just want to surprise someone with a bit more of a kick in the soup!) you can add some grated fresh ginger while blending instead of the paprika and chili flakes. I tried this once at Christmas with a touch of nutmeg and it works wonderfully with the coconut milk. That’s right, at Christmas – what did I say about any time of year?
A bowl of creamy, smoky and warming vegan butternut squash soup coming right up…
Cut the squash in half lengthways down the middle and place on a shallow, foil-lined baking dish.
Throw in the garlic and some sprigs of rosemary or sage leaves and cover with foil.
Roast for 40 minutes or so with the cauliflower (or have cauliflower separate, lightly oiled and salted, for a more charred flavor), until soft enough that you can cut through the flesh easily with a knife. Scoop out and set aside.