Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Last Night's Velvety Squash Surprise Soup with Vegan Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

This soup is my freaking addiction! It is smooth, creamy, luscious, extravagent & incredibly good for you - could it be sinful?! You tell me! The surprise is the cauliflower at the end & that blended goodness of all the vegetables together in perfect harmony...

-4 good sized Yukon Gold potatoes, coarsely chopped (they make a little longer to soften but they are worth the wait)
-3 large carrots or 4 - 5 smaller carrots, coarsely chopped
-2 - 3 small zucchini, coarsely chopped
-2 - 3 small summer squash, coarsely chopped
- 1 large sweet Maui onion or 2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
-1 - 1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic (depending on your garlic preference. Personally, I'm Italian garlic whore, so my motto is: The more the better)
-2 tbsp olive oil (or 1 if you want this to be slightly lower in fat; though it is relatively low in fat - check out nutritional info at the
end of the recipe)
1 large head of cauliflower, coarsely chopped
-3 - 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
-sea salt & pepper to taste

Start with ONLY the good stuff!!

1. Prep first!! Chop the potatoes then soak them in a bowl of water. Followed by chopping the carrots, squash, then onion.

2. Heat a large stockpot over medium to medium high heat & add the olive oil. Throw in your yummy onion & sautee, constantly stirring & stirring - you want the onion to get soft, not to brown, which should take approximately 8 to 10 minutes. (I always add a little extra onion only because i adore picking it out as it cook & devouring it! Feel free to do the same! I recommend it!) Add the garlic & cook until garlic is fragrant, which is, like 30 seconds to 1 minute.

3. Toss in your potatoes (after they've been drained, of course), carrots, both squashes & 7 - 8 cups of water. I prefer 7 because then it's a bit thicker but if you like a bit more broth, go for 7- either way is fine. Also, if you like, you can add a bit of vegetable bouillon, or your own stock, but try this recipe first with plain water. It's incredible how the cooking water soaks up the vitamins & minerals from the veggies & the simple great taste is so lovely. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down & simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are so tender they fall apart to the touch. They need to be tender or the soup will be ooey gooey when you puree!

4. While magic is happening in that stockpot, steam the cauliflower until it, too, is extremely tender. Put aside & let cool. Believe me, it will take some time for those potatoes to become as soft as you need them to be! This is a great time to clean the dishes you have already used, your workspace, set the table, feed or change a screaming child, etc!

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