Sunday, November 18, 2007

Coco-Squish-and-Crunch Soup

Here is another yummy Asian soup that contains organic coconut milk (my husband found a sale on it somewhere and we are almost out... yikes!), squash, and spinach greens (you choose). I just loved the "roasted" carrots in my last soup and I'm doing the same with the squash, roasting it (I apologize to all my no-cook/raw vegan friends out there... I've probably really torn away any illusions about my being on my way to fully-raw with this admission, eh?). The recipe is borrowed and adapted from Trina D. on Tech-Soup.com who credits Terra Firma Farms with the original recipe.

Ingredients:
*Squash, your choice (to produce about 2-4 Cups of flesh)
*2 cups Spinach leaves
*1 14oz can Coconut Milk
*1 cup Water
*1 cup Onions, chopped
*3 T. Tamari Sauce
*1 tsp Chili paste
*1 tsp Brown Sugar or other non-white sweetener, such as Agave, Stevia, or even Honey (but don't heat honey)
*1 T. Virgin Coconut Oil
*Choppped Cilantro
*Shredded unsweetened Coconut
*Green Onions


Instructions:
1. Cut Squash in half lengthwise and bake face down at 400 degrees until soft.

2. Wash 2 C. Spinach, Kale or Bok Choy leaves

3. In a soup pot, combine Coconut Milk, Water, Onions, Tamari sauce, Thai or Szechuan Red Chili paste, and Sweetener (except Honey). Simmer on low heat.

4. When the Squash is done, remove the seeds and scoop out 2 C. flesh for a light soup, or 4 C. for a thicker soup. Reserve the remainder.

5. Stir the Squash into the soup and simmer for about 10 minutes. Don't worry about it not combining nicely, or being smooth. Pour the soup into the cannister of the Vita-Mix in batches. If you are using Honey, this is the time to add it in! Securely position the 2-part lid. Process, first on Low Variable Speed progressing to High Variable Speed, until smooth (2-4 minutes).

6. Chop the Spinach leaves and place into individual bowls. Ladle the soup on top.

7. Very quickly saute the Green Onions, chopped, and the shredded Coconut in a separate pan in Virgin Coconut Oil. Don't over-do it-- they are meant to be a little crisp and crunchy.

8. Chop Cilantro leaves.

9. Sprinkle Green Onions, Coconut, and Cilantro on each bowl.

Now, we have covered most of the flavours and textures here-- salty, smoky, sweet, nutty, bitter-- but are missing 'sour'. You could either chop up some limes or lemons to serve on the side, stir in some yogurt, or sip a Lemon-Lime Bitters (non-alcoholic) cocktail just before the meal.

Bon Appetit!

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