This week is going to be fast/crazy/busy/awesome, am I right?

This is the time to slow down, eat soup, and enjoy the week ahead, whether it includes eating, traveling, working, or a little bit of all things involving the turkey holiday, the beginning of the week needs to be as breezy as possible. The end of the week is a flurry of planning and eating, family and friends, and most of all..indulgence . Let’s make this hearty, filling soup to start this shindig off right!

I know that butternut squash soup usually elicits a cringe from those who have not experienced a silky, tasty slurp of this fall in a bowl. I had always shied away from ordering or trying this soup until a few years ago, when I tried the absolute best version of butternut squash soup during a family Thanksgiving meal. It was piping hot, didn’t taste like an ounce of orange veggies, and left me wanting more.

Squash soup needs to be done right, or it will be one of those “Ohh gosh I had the grossest brussel sprouts/beets/insert grossly perceived vegetable here and now I’ll NEVER touch it again”, imprinting a lifelong memory of a food that hasn’t been coaxed into it’s full potential of deliciousness.

Ginger makes gives this soup a spicy undertone and tossing in other veggies gives the flavors depth and complexity. Silken tofu keeps it creamy and almond milk keeps it from becoming too thick.

I served mine with polenta grilled cheese (yes, I still eat cheese here and there!) and crisped up the extra polenta to make croutons.

Cook, blend, taste, top, and eat! Keep it easy this week friends, we’re going to need easy.

Butternut Squash Soup

1 small onion, minced

1-2 carrots, sliced

2-3 cups butternut squash, seeded, roasted, and peeled, cut into cubes (here’s a tutorial!)

1/2 tablespoon ginger

2 1/2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

5 tablespoons silken tofu

2 cups almond milk

1. In a large pot, saute onion and carrots until onion is translucent. Add squash and saute for 1 minute. Add water, ginger, and spices (including salt and pepper).

2. Bring mixture to a boil, turn heat down to low. Cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Transfer half of mixture to blender, add half of almond milk and half of tofu. Blend until smooth or desired consistency is reached. Pour soup into reserved bowl or container. Repeat blending steps with remaining soup mixture.

4. Ladle soup into bowls and top with croutons.

Polenta Croutons

1 cup polenta, prepared

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Spread polenta into greased 8×8 dish, bake for 20-30 minutes, or until polenta is crispy.

Adapted from Chow Vegan