I hate being vegan…I never have anything tasty to eat. Its basically all lettuce and dust (for the little Britain fans out there!)
This couldn’t be farther from the truth…as I now find myself nearly 2.5yrs vegan one thing I’ve noticed is that my tastebuds are constantly firing as new or interesting flavours surprise them. I can truly say that the last 2.5yrs have been nothing but an opportunity for me as I have tried more different foods on a regular basis and challenged myself to cook and try more things that I probably did in the previous years combined. When I became vegan I said I wasn’t going to focus on what i’d lost (re cheese lamentation) and instead focus on what I’d gained.
I have gained so much. I couldn’t be more thankful for my dear friend Elsie who challenged me to go down this road with her. I consider my lifestyle change to be a blessing.
This weekend saw a few firsts…I ate my first fresh fig in nearly ten years and couldn’t figure out why I’d ever stopped. They are amazing. I caught up with a dear friend who I haven’t really been able to catch up with for a while and she has recently become dairy free and it was so wonderful to have that time together. And I made the most sensational (sorry to sing my own praises) dinner for my husband and I on Saturday night.
I made us a creamy pumpkin soup with a baked cashew camembert. I have to say, genuinely, I could have kept eating it until I made myself unwell.
I am a sucker for a pumpkin soup as is my hubby. The baked camembert was a first. The soup is a staple. If you are keen to try the camembert…check out Bosh on Facebook and scroll through their page. I literally saw it on Saturday morning and basically fantasised about it all day deciding to make it that same evening. I can’t share the recipe for that as it was in a video with no URL but it wouldn’t be hard to find. Search for Camembosh! It was absolutely worth the 5 mins it took me to blend it and the 20 mins of baking for the end result. Its pretty garlicky though…so be warned if you aren’t a fan.
So my soup…I thought I’d share this love-filled, heart-warmer with you all. As that’s the only way to make it, with love.
Jac’s Pumpkin Soup
- half pumpkin – sliced and de-seeded
- 1 brown onion – chopped for frying
- 2 red skinned potatoes – chopped for roasting – but smaller than you would usually for roasting
- 5 garlic cloves whole – for roasting
- pinch nutmeg
- pinch paprika
- pinch tumeric
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped – for frying
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 1 carton soy / rice cream
- 1 cup soy milk (or oat if you can’t have soy)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Peanut or coconut oil for roasting
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- Tablespoon sugar (Any kind)
- tablespoon vegan butter for frying
Pop the oven on to about 180, fan based. Put the pumpkin, potatoes and garlic in a baking tray (with tinfoil or non stick under them) and cover with about a tablespoon of the oil and a pinch of salt. Make sure covered. Pop in over to roast for about 40 minutes (check once and shake them around a bit.)
Whilst roasting, fry off the onions and carrots in the butter (onions first until nearly clear and a little browned for flavour). Into the pan pop the turmeric and fry the veg until a nice golden brown yellow colour. Pop onto a very low heat until the roasting veggies are done. Once done – add them to the pan and immediately add the stock and the other herbs. Plus two bay leaves. Make sure the veggies are covered and add more stock if required to cover.
Let this delicious mix simmer away on a low heat for about 30 minutes to soften the potatoes completely and for the flavours to infuse.
Post this point add in the soy milk and stir. I then blend straight away – I keep it all in the pan and use a stick blender. Once blended I then add the soy cream and the salt and pepper to taste. I also add the tablespoon of sugar (use whatever variety you prefer it really doesn’t matter). The flavour just helps to bring out the pumpkin.
Then I pop it back on the hob, on number 1 (the lowest temp) and leave it for another 30 minutes to simmer gently away and to let the flavours settle. I usually make this a little ahead of time as it gets better after a few hours. So – if you can, turn the heat off, and leave it cooling on the hob with a lid on for 3-4 hours. Serve later that same day with toasted french stick (or whatever bread you like with your soup) and the camembosh.
Truly truly yummy.
I hope you enjoy it!
And remember, this is another example of what you gain as a vegan rather than what you lose. There is absolutely no reason why this lifestyle choice should mean you compromise on your tastebuds or your health.