Sunday, October 21, 2012

No-meat soup for you!

A friend asked me if I knew of any good vegetarian recipes the other day, so as promised, I am posting a couple. Eating a vegetarian diet is not only a more ethical choice, it is better for the environment. Raising livestock involves a lot of resources like food, water, and land. To raise one pound of beef takes 2,500 gallons of water. Considering a steer can weigh 1,500 pounds, it could take about 3,750,000 gallons of water to raise one steer. So there's that, and also large, poorly managed livestock farms can produce a lot of chemicals that run off the farm into nearby water bodies. Animals do their business and when it rains, it washes nitrates into the water which causes eutrophication (extreme growth of algae which uses all the oxygen in the water and kills aquatic life).

So now that I've killed your appetite talking about animal business, let's talk about those recipes. I think the perfect food for this time of year is soup. Two of my favorites for fall are butternut squash and pumpkin. They're both pretty easy to make, really good, and vegetarian. You can eat these by themselves, or pair with a salad for a bigger meal. If you have any questions on how to make them, feel free to send me an email.

Pumpkin Spice Soup
2 cans of pumpkin (about 14 ounces each)
4 shallots
2 tsp butter (I use Smart Balance Organic which is made of vegetable oils)
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp ginger
1/2 - 1 tbsp of curry depending how spicy you want it
2 tsp salt
1 tsp chili sauce
3 1/2 cups water
2 cups vegetable broth
1 can unsweetened coconut milk

Saute' shallots in butter until soft. Chop garlic cloves and add to shallots, along with ginger and curry. Stir in water, pumpkin, vegetable broth, coconut milk, chili sauce, and salt. Simmer uncovered over low heat for 30 minutes. Let cool, then put in blender and blend until smooth. Reheat on stove.

Note: I find that too much curry can over-power this soup, so I usually only add about 1/2 a tablespoon.

Butternut Squash Soup
4 lbs butternut squash (about 2 large ones), peeled and cubed - make sure to take out seeds
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic (optional)
3 tbsp butter (see pumpkin soup recipe for vegan substitute)
1/2 tsp salt
nutmeg to taste
8 cups vegetable broth

Melt butter in large pan. Saute' onions until soft. Chop garlic and add if wanted. Add in butternut squash, salt, nutmeg, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, until the butternut squash is soft. Let cool, then put in blender and blend until smooth. Reheat on stove.
This soup is good served with creme fraiche swirled on top.

1 comment:

  1. One of my friends made the pumpkin soup. This is the message they sent me afterwards...

    "I made the pumpkin soup today & it was a huge hit. Came out fantastic, like the best soup I have ever made. I added a little cinnamon... What a great recipe."

    I was super happy to hear that!