Guest Blogger: A World Through the Eyes of A Vegan Foodie

16 Nov

Please meet the lovely Ruby June, the writer of the blog, A World Through the Eyes of A Vegan Foodie.

A description about her blog in her words, “A little about myself, I enjoy cooking and baking, but also indulging in specialty beverages. I like to sew, (most of my clothing I have made from vintage 1940’s patterns), draw, paint, and partake in old-lady crafts. I am a double major in biology and environmental science at the University of Washington (going into ecological research), and I love partaking in outdoor adventures and meeting (rare) people that are radiant at heart. I am married to a wonderful husband, and we have a 3 year-old spitfire of a Shiba Inu. Living life to its fullest, is something I adhere to. Live the good life, make it your own!”  Please welcome Ruby June!

This soup is awesome. It is a savory-sweet pumpkin soup with spicy warmth from the oil and a crunchy deliciousness only shallots can provide. At the time, I was feeling extra Halloween-y (made this soup a couple of weeks ago), so I cooked up some black beluga lentils and tossed them in before serving. If you haven’t tried these lentils, you are in for a treat! As you would assume, they are jet black and tiny and have a very pleasant nutty texture and flavour.

Preparation…the pumpkin glop.
Pick out a medium sized sugar pie pumpkin. It should weigh about 2lbs, give or take. You want to end up with about 3 cups of pumpkin puree. Halve and de-gut the thing, lightly brush it with olive oil and place it face down on a dark coloured baking tray, lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 30min, in a 375F oven. Basically until you stab at it with a fork and it’s buttery soft. Let cool (about 15min), then scoop out the innards gently, smashing them with your spoon so the texture is creamy. Whatever is left over, if any, you can use as you like!

The Soup:
– 1 Small onion, finely diced
– 4 Cloves fresh garlic, minced
– 2 Tbs of finely chopped ginger
– 8 Whole cloves
– 1 Star anise
– 2 Tsp Coriander seeds, whole
– 1 Tbs Grapeseed Oil
– 3 C. (2 3/4C. is fine too!) Pumpkin glop from previous note.
– 2 Tbs. Dark Miso
– 5 Tsp Better than Bouillon paste, vegan vegetable broth kind
– 5 C. Water
– 1/2 C. Coconut milk (NOT the canned kind)
– 1/4 Tsp Ground pepper

– In a large sauce pan, preheat oil over medium heat and toss in onions, star anise, cloves, and coriander. Saute until onions are translucent, then add garlic and ginger. Stir to incorporate, and cook for about 3 min more.
– Meanwhile, in a pyrex measuring cup, mix miso and bouillon paste, adding a little bit of water and mixing until it you get 1 cup. Add to pan and add five more cups of water. Bring to a low boil and cook for 5 minutes.
– Hunt for the star anise and remove it, along with 1/2 the cloves. Lower to a simmer, add pepper, pumpkin, coconut milk and cook for 40 minutes.
– Set aside to cool for a bit, then run the soup through a food processor. If you are not a fan of coriander seeds, you may remove most of them using a perforated spoon. Before grinding everything up. I personally think they aren’t too strong and their presence is important.

Turmeric Chili Oil
– 1Tbs Grapeseed oil
– 1/4 Tsp Turmeric
– 1/4 Tsp Cumin
– 3/4 Tsp Hot chili flakes

– On medium heat in a small saute pan, combine all ingredients and heat gently, stirring until oil becomes fragrant (about 4 min). Do not overcook, as the turmeric will bitter.

Caramelized Shallots
– 1 medium sized shallot, thinly sliced
– 1 Tsp Grapeseed oil
– Preheat a small saute pan with the oil, over medium-low heat. Separate the shallot rings and place them on the pan. This part really varies on the shallots and how cooperative they are feeling that day. You want to sweat them gently and caramelize them slowly or they will bitter. Today, this process took about 15 minutes, with relatively frequent stirring.

NOTE: While the oil and shallots may seem time consuming, you can prepare them while your soup simmers.
Serving

– Dish out desired amount of soup and drizzle a little bit of the oil over the surface. Top with caramelized shallots and enjoy! If you are in the Halloween-y spirit (which I am!), you may proceed with the black beluga lentils.
Looks festive, don’t you think?
We had ours with a delicious stout…now that dark beers are coming around into season again, woo!
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