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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
 Vegetarian Cooking with Zel

For a hearty one-dish meal, enrich this soup with cashews and fresh corn. Brimming with creamy butternut squash, it's a gustatory delight. Although butternut squash is available year-round, its flavor is best in autumn.

Butternut Corn Cashew Soup is one of the delicious recipes from Zel Allen's cookbook The Nut Gourmet: Nourishing Nuts for Every Occasion published by Book Publishing Company in 2006.


Yield: 6 servings

    1 large butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds or 1 kilo)
    1 cup (240 ml) raw or unsalted dry-roasted cashews

    3 ears sweet corn, cooked, or 2 15-ounce (420g) cans whole kernel corn, drained
    2 medium onions, chopped fine
    2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
    2 stalks celery, chopped fine
    1/3 cup (80 ml) water
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    Freshly ground pepper

    2 to 4 cups (1/2 to 1 liter) water
    2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs (dill, basil, or parsley)
    1/4 cup (60 ml) pomegranate seeds (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (Gas Mark 5). Place the whole butternut squash on a dry baking sheet, and bake for 1 hour or until soft to the touch.
  2. Grind the cashews into a course meal in a food processor, or process them in an electric mini-chopper/grinder or coffee grinder for a fine meal. Set aside
  3. With a sharp knife, cut the corn kernels off the cobs and set the kernels aside.
  4. Combine the onions, carrots, celery, water, and garlic in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to medium-high. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and transparent, adding more water if needed. Add the corn along with the salt, nutmeg, and pepper.
  5. When the squash is cool enough to handle, cut it in half lengthwise and discard the seeds. Scoop out the flesh, and process it in the food processor or blender until smooth. Add to the stockpot along with ground cashews.
  6. Stir in enough of the water to reach the desired consistency. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Adjust the seasonings, if needed.
  7. Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with the fresh herbs and pomegranate seeds, if using.

Note: To give the soup a more dominant corn flavor, use the drained liquid from the canned corn in place of some of the water.

Click here for past cookingwithzel@home.comeonin recipes

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