After reading this post at my friend's blog, I thought I would share a new-to-me soup recipe.
Soup is a staple of our winter mealtimes. We might eat soup three or more times each week. Casseroles were a mainstay before we cut dairy from our diets. Casseroles and anything with cheese. I miss cheese. After we cut dairy, we became a meat and salad family. The downfall there is that meat is expensive, not to mention full of nasty hormones and chemicals. (Organic meat isn't really in the budget right now.) Salad is all very fine, but it does tend to grow slimy in the refrigerator. Enter soup. The miracle food.
From the most mundane ingredients in my pantry, I can whip up delicious, dairy free soups of almost infinite variety. Here is a list of our favorites:
"Cream" of Tomato (I use almond milk.)
Sweet Potato Peanut Butter
Split Pea (without ham. Gavin can make this one from scratch!)
Dal Shorva (Indian lentil soup)
White Bean with Sausage (I make "kosher" sausage out of ground poultry.)
Mara's Famous Cauliflower Soup (I think it is clear who makes this soup! She adapted this into her very own recipe.)
You see? Lots of variety here! The kids know that soup means comfort and love. Tonight our soup was like a dose of winter sunshine. I learned this recipe from my pal Kaley. Before watching her prepare this soup, I would have written it off as "too labor intensive". Nothing could be farther from the truth. There are many steps listed here, but each one is easy and quick. There is a bunch of wait time, though, so plan ahead. You'll need to start this an hour and a half before you want to eat.
Winter Sunshine Soup
1 butternut squash (acorn would work perfectly fine)
3 onions, sliced
2 TBS vegetable oil (I used olive.)
2 TBS brown sugar
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp curry (adjust for personal preference or use nutmeg)
6 small potatoes, diced
6 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
1. Turn oven to 350. Rinse the squash. Stick it in the oven for a hour and forget about it.
2. In a dutch oven, heat oil over med. heat. Add onions, sugar, pepper and curry. Reduce heat and cook for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice. The goal is to caramelize the onions.
3. Add the diced potatoes to the onion mixture and cover.
4. Remove the squash from the oven. Slice off each end. Cut into 2 halves and scoop the seedy pulp out. Turn onto the cut sides, then peel the rind from the squash. It should come away easily.
5. Chop the squash into 1 - 2" cubes. Add to the onion and potato mixture.
6. Add the broth and coconut milk. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
7. Turn heat off. Let stand for a couple of minutes to cool slightly. Process the soup through the blender in batches. (It takes 3 batches to get this recipe through my blender.) Have a large bowl ready to catch the blended soup that comes out of your blender.
8. Eat and enjoy! Tonight we served the soup with whole wheat bread squares. (Simply slices of bread cut into bit size squares. Sprinkle a handful on top of the soup and VOILA- toddler-spoon friendly soup!