Rich fall flavors are coming to a soup bowl near you. Sweet and savory butternut squash, subtle sautéed leeks, and fresh herbs in a creamy vegan butternut squash soup.
Creamy and vegan is a phrase not often heard together. Today we're combining the two thanks to cashews.
Full of powerful antioxidants and rich texture and flavor, cashews are increasingly popular in the vegan and food world. The rich texture of the cashews is perfect for substituting in place of dairy, providing similar mouth feels and flavor.
But waaaait! If you're a carnivore through and through, don't go running for the hills just yet. You seriously won't even know it's vegan. Not fudging that one, not even a little bit.
making vegan butternut squash soup creamy
The star ingredient of this soup is going to stay butternut squash. It's naturally sweet but still carries earthy squash flavor. If we're going to enjoy butternut squash soup, let's just take the extra step, sub out for plant based ingredients. Why not, right?
The cashews need a little bit of love to get to the right texture. Once soaked for a few hours and blended with the soaking liquid they will look similar to milk in thickness and in richness.
Be sure to soak for at least 2 hours or you'll end up with chunks of cashews in the liquid, instead of a smooth milk consistency. Don't worry, it will still taste good, but you'll just have quite flecks in the soup.
Leeks are another silent star in making vegan butternut squash soup, they're like little silent soup ninjas. Transporting powerful flavor in those layers. Leeks will add very mild onion flavor and possess a natural sweetness that pairs perfectly with the butternut squash
Fresh thyme is the herb of choice to add a pop. Fragrant and bright, thyme will lift up your soup. But of all the herbs, I have a confession to make.
I'm in love with sage.
Particularly during fall. It's just so...sigh...so different. Slightly sweet, with a subtle woody flavor. It's pungent and unique, and when combined with a thick cashew creme it's the perfect topping for this soup.
Cashew Sage Creme
Creme? Cashews? Don't sweat it. It's really not as fancy as it sounds. Granted, you definitely don't have to share that information with whoever is on the receiving end of this soup goodness.
Soften the cashews for 2 to 4 hours by soaking them in water, using less liquid than we did for the soup. Blend well with fresh sage. Bam. Done-ski.
The cashew sage creme will be thick but still viscous and easily dripable if you want to use a spoon. Feel free to get chefy and put it in a squeeze bottle. However you choose your method of distribution, it's going to bring an unexpected but welcomed burst of herbaceous taste and a rich appearance for the eyes.
Between food allergies, sensitivities, and a general desire to incorporate more plant based meals into the daily meal plan, it's always nice to having something available. This soup is a breeze to make, freezes well, and takes moments to heat up.
For more creamy, vegan, vegetable goodness packed with fresh herbs and sage, White Bean + Parsnip Soup holds a seriously special place in my heart and just requires a substitution of vegetable stock.
Mugs of soup warming our hands and crunchy toasted sourdough at our side, no matter your soup of choice, we're ready to fight the fall chill one soup at a time!
Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Soup
Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 cup cashews (raw)
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 to 1 ¼ lb butternut squash (peeled and cut in ½ to 1 inch cubes)
- 1 leek (diced)
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- ¼ cup white wine
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 ½ cups vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Sage Cashew Crema
- ¼ cup cashews (raw)
- ¼ cup + ⅛ cup water
- 4 large leaves fresh sage
- Soak cashews in water for 2 to 4 hours prior to making the soup.
- Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat. Cook leek and garlic 3 to 5 minutes until they become soft and shiny.
- Stir in cubed squash and thyme, season with salt and pepper. Cook 3 minutes then add white wine and chicken stock. Cover and cook over med high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 10 minutes, reduce heat to medium low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until squash is very soft.
- While squash and liquids are simmering, prepare the cashews. Using a blender or food processor, add the cashews and the soaking water. Blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes until thorough processed. Cashew liquid should resemble the same thickness as cashew or almond milk.
- Add cashew liquid to the stock pot and remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, purée the squash and liquid together until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.¹
Sage Cashew Creme
- Using a food processor or blender, add cashews, soaking liquid and sage leaves. Process on high for 1 to 2 minutes until well combined. The creme should be thick but still a bit liquid. Drizzle over Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Soup.