Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

I don’t know about you, but this whole “arctic-blast” thing is no fun when the Oklahoma wind is rushing past you and through your coat at 20 mph. Cold weather absolutely calls for a rich, creamy soup!

This soup recipe can be done in your slow cooker, instant pot, or on the stove top. We used our instant pot on the slow cooker setting and it worked like a charm. I’m really starting to love this thing. PLUS it gives me the opportunity to get rid of our crock pot. Score!

butternut squash soup

My parents were over in T-Town this past weekend and instead of going out for dinner like we normally would, I decided that we would cook a full-vegan meal for them at our home. We served this soup, rosemary roasted veggies, and homemade croutons. It was a hit! Now we have left over soup that will be marvelous for lunches at work.

The best thing about this soup other than its one-pot creation, is that you don’t have to do any fine dicing or slicing. You just roughly chop everything and toss it in. It’s the most magical thing to not have to spend half an hour chopping ingredients. You do have to peel and de-seed the squash and the peppers and then roughly dice all the ingredients but it takes minimal effort.

This soup is peppered and not sweet like you might find at a restaurant. We use Serrano peppers and cracked black pepper to kick through the sweetness that the squash already possess. If you don’t want it peppery then I suggest adding a table spoon of maple syrup at the end of the cooking time to take the edge off. This is certainly not something I consider spicy!

butternut squash soup1

 

Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Cold weather calls for hot soup. This slow cooker delight is sure to warm you up on a cold winter's day.


Ingredients


– 2 medium sized butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and roughly chopped
– 1 medium yellow onion, roughly diced
– 2-3 Serrano peppers, de-seeded and roughly diced
– 1 TBS rosemary
– cracked black pepper to taste
– salt to taste
– 3 C homemade vegetable stock or water, add a half cup more to thin if you find it is too thick
– 1 C coconut cream
– 1 TBS maple syrup (optional)
– croutons or crackers to garnish

Directions


1. Prep first three ingredients and add to the bowl of your slow cooker.
2. Add the rosemary, pepper, salt, and vegetable stock. Stir to combine.
3. Set your slow cooker on low heat for 8 hours.
4. Once the 8 hours is over, use an immersion blender or high-speed upright blender to combine ingredients until creamy and no chunks are left. If using upright blender, pour back into the bowl of the slow cooker.
5. Add coconut cream into the blended mixture and stir.
6. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add more vegetable stock until you get your desired consistency. I did not have to use any additional vegetable stock because I like for my soups to be very thick.
7. Adjust salt if needed and add maple syrup if desired.
8. Turn slow cooker to “keep warm” and ladle soup into bowls. Top with croutons.
9. Enjoy! Keep leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container for up to four days.
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Tomato Basil Bread {Vegan}

This loaf of herby goodness is a warm, satisfying bite of home for me. It has a zesty and full bodied flavor and is melt-in-your-mouth delicious served toasted with vegan butter or cream cheese.

tomato basil bread

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a carb problem. Pasta, pizza, bread, more bread, sweet breads, muffins – you name it, I probably love it! I was looking back at my old blog site (https://hellobrownlow.blogspot.com/) and found that my love for food came straight outta Pinterest. My oldest blog name used to be “Amanda the pinterest baker”. Carbs AND sugar, double yum!

Since my first blog, I can see myself maturing (slightly) and making food that I really love. Food that makes my late-twenty year old self think, “this looks delicious and is worth my time to make” . I do less DIY craft projects and spend more time cooking and looking for ways to save money. More money saving ideas on are their way, but first BREAD!

My mom was never a bread maker, but she was the person that drove us to Panera Bread to pick up bagels, bread, and pastries. This tomato basil bread absolutely reminds me of a time when my brother and I would fight over the last slice of tomato basil bread my mom bought from Panera earlier in the week. We would throw down for the last slice of toasty, buttery goodness. I’m sure we would be more civil now that we are both in our twenties but that is yet to be determined.

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This bread recipe is: vegan, zesty, easy, oh-so delicious, and sure to be a crowd pleaser. It can be made in a dutch oven (pictured) or in a traditional loaf pan.

Tomato Basil Bread {Vegan}

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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This bread recipe is: vegan, zesty, easy, oh-so delicious, and sure to be a crowd pleaser.


Ingredients

– 3.5-4 cups of bread flour
– 1 3/4 cups of basil spaghetti sauce (or other roasted vegetable sauce from a can)
– 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
– Cooking Spray

Directions


1. Heat spaghetti sauce in pan to 110-120 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. While sauce is heating, in a large bowl whisk together 3 cups of flour and the yeast.
3. Remove sauce from heat once it is up to temperature. Gently pour 3/4 of the sauce into the flour/yeast mixture. Mix until incorporated. Add the remaining half cup of flour in and let sit for 10 minutes to absorb the moisture from the sauce thoroughly.
4. Once the moisture is absorbed,if the dough is very wet add the additional flour a quarter cup at a time. Once it is to a slightly sticky but firm consistency, turn out on to a clean, lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.
5. Once kneaded, spray the inside of a large bowl lightly with cooking spray and put dough in. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let double in size (approximately 45 minutes to an hour)
6. After the bread is doubled in size, punch down. Transfer to your baking dish (dutch over or loaf pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover again and let rise for another 30 minutes. The dough is ready once you are able to touch it and not have it spring back.
7. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Test for doness at the 30 minute mark. If time is still needed, place back in over for another 10 minutes. The bread may start to color too darkly if using a loaf pan. If this occurs, cover with foil the remaining 10 minutes. Cover with lid if using dutch oven.
8. After baking, place on wire cooling rack. Let sit for 1 hr before slicing.
9. Stores in sealed container for up to one week (but who are you kidding? It won’t last that long.)

Sweet Potato and Red Bean Kale Hash

Even though we have been vegan for two years now, we still get the question “So… what do you eat? There’s like, nothing out there for you. It’s all just fake versions of what I eat.” WRONG! There are so many amazing foods that vegans eat (it’s called vegetables!). Flavor and nutrition shine in vegan cooking and baking.

To prove that we do eat real, amazingly delicious food, I am committing to writing and posting one vegan recipe a week. It may be my vegetable stock that just costs pennies to make or baklava that melts in your mouth. Whatever it is, I promise it will be delicious and easy to make!

Sweet Potato and Red Bean Kale Hash

This is such a simple recipe that you can flavor however you like. I like the sweet and heat route for this dish that comes from the agave and chipotle powder. The spice works very well with the sweet potatoes that absorb it. Or you could use rosemary and thyme instead of chipotle powder and agave.

A cast iron skillet will work best for this recipe but it isn’t completely necessary. I have made it in a regular, large skillet and in cast iron. The cast iron, in my opinion, turned out better but it is completely up to you.

Warning: everything will have a very similar texture if each element isn’t cooked properly. By saying this I mean DON’T OVERCOOK YOUR POTATOES! You steam them first, but you really have to watch them to make sure they are just fork tender before you add them to the skillet. Same thing with the kale (unless you love super wilted kale). You add it in last and cook it down unless just wilted and still crunchy.

Sweet Potato and Red Bean Kale Hash

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: easy
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Proving that vegans eat more than just rabbit food, this dish features sweet agave and spicy chipotle flavors that add a punch to your regular sweet potato.


Ingredients

– 3 medium sized sweet potatoes, diced to 1 inch cubes
– 1 15 oz can red beans (or 1.5 cups cooked red beans)
– 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
– 3 large lacinto kale leaves, chopped and ribs removed
– 1 tsp ground chipotle powder
– 1/2 tsp sea salt
– 1 Tbsp agave or maple syrup
– Olive oil for cooking

Directions


1. Steam sweet potatoes until fork tender (about 15 minutes over water on stove top). While potatoes steam, cook onions over medium heat in cast iron skillet with olive oil as needed. Sauté until translucent and fragrant (about 3-5 minutes).
2. Add steamed sweet potatoes to the cooked onion in the skillet. Cook on medium low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add oil as necessary to keep potatoes from sticking. Potatoes should start to brown on the sides.
3. Once the potatoes are slightly browned, add the red beans. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. While the beans are cooking, add the chipotle powder, agave, and salt. Stir to combine and evenly coat.
4. Add kale and cook until just wilted, about 3 minutes.
5. Serve immediately.
Vegan One Pot Mushroom Rice

Vegan One Pot Mushroom Rice

This easy mushroom recipe is quick and delicious. And it only takes one pot! Which you know is my favorite!

Our $25 grocery week went well. There was one night where we bought veggie burger patties and buns to take to a cook out but other than that we did great! It was challenging to get through a whole ten days without diverting from our original meal plan.  This very limited budget is something we will definitely attempt again in the future.

This recipe can be eaten as a side or as your main dish. For my husband and I, it fills us both up with a little less than a serving of food left over. We love to eat this with a salad and some crunchy toast (because my husband says everything is better with crunchy toast!).

Even though this is a rice recipe, you can sub out any type of grain that you like. We have had it with quinoa and it was equally (if not more) delicious! This is also a great recipe if you are trying to cut back on your oil and salt intake. We never use oil to cook down the onions and never add any additional salt other than what is in the soy sauce that we use.

If you haven’t used homemade vegetable stock before, now is a great time to try it out! It’s also a great recipe to try out some new spices you may not have in your cabinet. Check out my post on how to save money on spices here.

Vegan One Pot Mushroom Rice

 

Vegan One Pot Mushroom Rice

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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This creamy but hearty mushroom recipe will stick to your ribs and provide an amazing dose of protein to make you feel great.


Ingredients

– 1 Tbs vegetable stock
– 1 small onion diced
– 3 cloves garlic minced
– 1 lb baby bella mushrooms thinly sliced
– 3 medium size carrots chopped
– 1 Tbs low sodium soy sauce
– 1/2 tsp brown sugar
– 1/4 tsp dried mustard
– 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
– 1/2 tsp dried thyme
– 3/4 C brown rice*
– 1 1/2 C vegetable stock
– 2 Tbs unsalted vegan butter

Directions


1. In a medium size stock pot over medium high heat, add onion, garlic and first tablespoon of vegetable stock. Cook until aromatic – about 3 minutes. Stir frequently.
2. Add in mushrooms, carrots, soy sauce and spices. Cook until mushrooms are tender – about 6 minutes.  Stir frequently. If the food is sticking to the pot, add additional vegetable stock a tablespoon at a time.
3. Add brown rice and the remainder of the vegetable broth. Stir to combine. Bring pot to a boil. Once at boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover until rice is cooked through – about 45 minutes.
4. Once rice is cooked, remove lid and turn off heat. Stir in butter until incorporated. Let set for one minute.
5. Serve immediately.


*To make this a gluten free recipe, substitute rice for quinoa or other gluten free grain.