Spicy Creamy Vegan Squash Soup

This is a version of a soup I make almost every year, out of whatever winter vegetables (squashes and root vegetables) I have on hand from my Boston Organics bin.  Sweet potatoes can also be a nice addition, but I didn't have any this year.  This recipe isn't precise because I make it up as I go along.  This time I added silken tofu for some protein and a creamy texture.

2 Butternut squashes, cubed (about 1" square)
3-4 carrots, cut in 1-inch chunks
2 onions, cut in 4 sections
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 quarts vegetable broth
2-3 tablespoons agave syrup, to taste (maple syrup or honey would probably also work okay)
1 package silken tofu
cayenne pepper (leave out if you don't want it hot-spicy)
1-2 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 450 F and coat a large roasting pan with olive oil.  Add squash, carrots, onions, and garlic to the pan, sprinkle with olive oil and mix to coat.  Shake salt, paprika, and cayenne over the veggies.  Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, until the veggies begin to brown.

In a large pot, heat olive oil on high and add the onions (pick them out of the mix with a fork), cook until translucent, stirring constantly.  Add the rest of the veggies and saute for a couple of minutes.  Add broth and bay leaf and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover to simmer for 45 - 60 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Blend silken tofu in blender until it forms a smooth, creamy liquid.  Set aside.  Blend the soup in batches until smooth.  Make sure to add enough liquid to each batch so that it mixes well.  Return the soup to the pot, add silken tofu, stirring to mix.  Add about 1 teaspoon cumin, 2-3 tablespoons agave syrup, and salt to taste.  (This last step is where you get the taste just right, and so I recommend adding these elements a little at a time and taste the soup each time until you like it.  You might need more or less of each flavor).


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