My mom made a really great potato and leek soup the other week while I was home for the holidays. I decided to make my own version, replacing the summer garden’s potatoes with the fall garden’s butternut squash. The results surpassed my expectations, creating a nutty, slightly sweet and velvety soup, perfect for the cold days that are progressively creeping in. The thing I love about pureed veggie soups is that they yield an extra creamy texture without one drop of heavy cream needed. All that cream will only weigh you down, so don’t bother adding it in. The rich flavors of the roasted veggies alone are more than enough to bolster this soup into a hearty dinnertime meal. Top it off with some sauteed portobellos to add a touch of texture and an extra veggie-derived heartiness. The soup is full of vegetables, but also incredibly full of flavor. No meat, no dairy, and no room to miss either. A perfect vegan-friendly fall/winter meal for any styled diet. Try using any leftovers as great dip for cooked broccoli.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Leek Soup with Sauteed Portobellos
-1 head garlic, unpeeled
-1 medium-large butternut squash, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch semi-circles (about 4 cups)
-2 cups vegetable broth
-2 cups water
-3 Tbsp. olive oil
-One batch of sauteed mushrooms (see recipe below)
Preheat oven 400F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Coat squash with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Spread out on baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap entire head of garlic in aluminum foil and place next to squash. Slice leeks into 1/3 inch circles and place in strainer. Run through water to clean them, and then pat dry. Line a large rectangular cake pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease. Toss leeks with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil. Place in baking pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place squash, garlic, and leeks in oven, and bake 45 minutes, or until squash are fork tender, flipping squash and stirring leeks halfway through. Remove from oven.
Place leeks and squash in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cut end of garlic head, and squeeze out roasted cloves into pan with squash. Add water and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. In batches, place squash mixture into a blender or food processor, pureeing until smooth, and then returning contents to pan. Serve, topping each bowl with mushrooms and chopped parsley.
Sauteed Portobellos with Thyme
The following recipe can be made up to two days ahead of time.
-6 portobello mushrooms, sliced
-1/2 cup onion, diced
-2 tsp. dried thyme
-1/2 tsp. sugar
-1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
-Salt and pepper, to taste
-1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and portobellos. Saute 6 minutes. Whisk together thyme, sugar, vinegar, and generous pinch of salt and pepper. Add to mushrooms, and saute another 7-10 minutes, until mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat.