It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and you’re in a bind. You have the whole spread all planned out, but need a healthy appetizer slash side dish to tide your peeps over before the main event. To keep the fungry monsters at bay. No one likes a fungry monester on Thanksgiving day.
Not that you’ve waited until now to get the whole food situation figured out. We’re speaking in hypotheticals here.
But hypothetically, if you did need a last-minute tider-over, my recommendation would be soup. Every dang time. It’s creamy, it’s comforting, it’s just the right amount of filling, it’s easy to make in volume. You can leave it in the pot on low and serve as needed.
BUH-OOM! Crisis averted.
When it comes to creamy soups, I’m all about super simple recipes with few ingredients. Roast up a winter squash or sweet potatoes, saute up an onion and garlic, blend it all up with some broth and/or coconut milk, a little cinnamon for some steaze, and when all’s said in done you end up with a silky-smooth soup that was quite simple to prepare.
Aside from all the holiday gatherings being right up close and personal in our face-lives, I love making this soup for just moi any ol’ day. One of my favorite single-girl meals that I prepare when it’s just going to be me, myself, and a steamy pot of creamy soup is this butternut squash bisque. I sip on it in volume while binge-watching trashy chick TV shows on Netflix, and save whatever remains for lunch/snack the next day. No need to multi-course here, folks. Unless, of course, it’s Thanksgiving. In which case, multi-course your face off.
Order of operation here? Roast dat butternut squash (<- this can be done ahead of time!!), saute up some onion and garlic for flavor while the squash is roasting, toss everything in a blender and whiz it all up until it’s completely creamy. Keep it in a pot on the stove on low, stirring from time to time, and serve your guests as they walk in the do’. Maybe give them a hug first, because: social niceties.
If you have a hot minute to really put some finishing touches on this vegan butternut squash soup, you can fry up some sage leaves in a skillet. THIS IS BANGARANG! It only takes but a few seconds per side and what comes out is this herby little chip-like apparatus that crisps and melts in your mouth. You’ll love the way fried sage turns out if you’re into the herbage!
Feed that fungry monster and have a happy Thanksgiving!
Vegan Butternut Squash Bisque
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Chop the tip and tail off the butternut squash and scoop out the seeds and innards. Drizzle olive oil over the flesh and sprinkle with sea salt and a dash of cinnamon. Place both halves face-down on a baking sheet and roast on the center rack of the oven for 40-50 minutes or until the flesh is very soft when poked with a fork.
In a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil while the butternut squash is roasting. Add the sliced onion. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is browned, about 10 minutes.
When the roasted butternut squash is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out of the skin. Place the flesh in a blender. Add the onions, coconut milk and maple syrup to the blender and blend until completely smooth. Transfer the soup to a saucepan and heat it, stirring frequently, until hot.
Heat the canola oil to medium-high in a small skillet. Carefully place the sage leaves flat on the surface of the oil when the oil is hot. Cook 20-30 seconds, flip, and cook another 10-20 seconds. Use a fork to carefully transfer the fried sage leaves to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Serve butternut squash bisque with fried sage leaves and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.