I love soup! It’s so wholesome and satisfying, and when paired with hearty roasted fennel it makes the perfect dinner!
At least once a week, I try to do a dinner just for my husband and I. While this meal could certainly satisfy a whole family (my kids love butternut squash!), I felt it was special enough for date night. Time spent one on one is important to me, and I like this dinner option because it’s easy to put together, cleanup is a breeze, and we can sit and enjoy a nice meal- just the two of us!
If you have a Vitamix, this soup is even easier to put together. All you need to do is lightly saute all the ingredients, and then transfer them to the Vitamix and hit the “soup” setting. You can literally set it and forget it, which is one of my favourite aspects of the machine. That being said, this soup is fairly easy to make even if you don’t have a Vitamix. Make sure all the ingredients are cooked down, add a bit of water and bring to a boil, and then puree either in a blender or food processor, or with an immersion blender if you have one. While the soup is being made, roast the fennel in the oven so everything can be ready at the same time.
Butternut squash is an excellent source of vitamins C and E, making it a great food to consume in the summer when our skin is under additional strain from the sun. Carrots and parsnips add an element of sweetness, as well as high levels of fiber, beta carotene, potassium, phosphorous and zinc. Cashews add a thick creaminess to this soup, while also providing a ton of protein, iron, and vitamins E, K and B6. I’ve also been using hemp seeds a lot lately, mainly because they’re an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids and protein. They’re so easy to incorporate into just about any food; as I’m constantly looking for ways to pack more nutrition into the foods that I cook, they have become a welcome addition to my pantry.
The roasted fennel gives this soup a rich depth, and was the perfect accompaniment to this sweet soup. We very much enjoyed our date night, and our date night meal! The next time you have something special- or, the next time you happen to be craving soup!- try this fun, laid back meal. Eat well to live well!
- Half of Butternut Squash, chopped
- 3 Carrots, chopped
- 1 Parsnip, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- Handful of Cashews (soaked 1-2 h in advance)
- 1 vegan Vegetable Stock cube
- 1 tbsp Hemp Seeds
- Himalayan pink salt
- Fennel bulb
- Rapeseed oil
- Himalayan pink salt
First, make the soup- Preheat a large pot over medium-high heat, and drizzle with a bit of oil. Sweat the squash, carrots, parsnip and garlic for about 5 minutes, until everything is fragrant. Add the cashews and hemp seeds, along with enough water to cover everything.
2. If using a Vitamix, transfer to the machine and hit the “soup” setting. If not, bring to a boil on the stove, and reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook for about 20 minutes, then puree until smooth. Return the mixture to the stove and cook for another 20-40 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
3. To make the fennel, preheat the oven to 185 C (400F)
4. Cut the bulb in half, and lay on a roasting pan. Drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes. Serve alongside the soup.