Every day this week, we are posting TWO recipes for your Thanksgiving pleasure. Adding just ONE completely plant-based dish to your Thanksgiving spread is a welcome reprieve on this day of indulgence, and your body will thank you!
Today, we’re serving up some Tangy Apple and Butternut Squash Soup and a Massaged Avocado Kale Salad.
Now both of these dishes are my favorites. The kale salad I eat year round, usually plain with just avocado and lemon juice massaged into the kale and seasoned with salt and pepper. It is a staple in our household and we usually make a large batch every week as not only it highly alkaline and filled with wonderful antioxidants – but it tastes so rich and indulgent and fresh. Every now and then I like to jazz it up with some kind of onion – leek, scallion, or red, something crunchy like nuts or seeds, and something sweet like apple or tomato – so feel free to fancy this humble salad up for your Thanksgiving table.
The soup is something I’ve made variations of in the past. Every fall I whip up a pumpkin, squash, or carrot soup using coconut milk, nutmeg and cayenne. Recently however, I attended a vegan popup dinner here in Dallas hosted by Lauren of Three Twelve Co. and Lala’s Cakes – and she featured a butternut squash soup like I’d never tasted before. It had this tanginess that perfectly balanced out the sweet and savory – a flavor profile that was surely missing from my past dabbles in squash soup. Turns out, Lauren had used green apple puree to add that wonderful twang and to thicken the soup.
This is my version of that incredible soup, and I truly hope you enjoy it!
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 cup water, divided
- 1 large green apple
- 1 can coconut cream
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cayenne, or to taste
- salt, to taste
- 4-6 slices day old crusty bread (I used a french baguette)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- olive oil, as needed
- In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and onion and sweat for ten minutes.
- In the meantime, peel and dice the butternut squash, removing the seeds with a spoon.
- Add the garlic to the pot and toss to coat until fragrant.
- Add 1/2 cup of water and the butternut squash. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, peel and chop the green apple then set aside.
- In a separate small pan, heat up a little olive oil over medium-high heat. Dice the sliced of bread into 1/2-inch cubes and added them to the pan. Dust with garlic and cayenne and toss several times in the pan to coat the bread evenly. Let toast on all sides for a few minutes until charred, then remove from heat and set aside.
- Add the apple, nutmeg, cayenne, and salt to the butternut mixture, and cook for a few minutes until apples and squash are tender.
- Add the coconut cream and then use a handheld blender or place everything in a high-speed blender to puree the entire mixture until smooth.
- Bring mixture to a simmer for a few moments then check for seasoning. Add the remaining half cup of water to thin out the soup as desired. Serve piping hot with garlic cayenne croutons.
- Butternut squash can be found at almost any grocery store in the fall and winter time. I have not tried this recipe with other squashes, but my guess would be that the structure of butternut lends itself well to a creamier soup that its stringier counterparts such as acorn, spaghetti, or pumpkin.
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 large avocado
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Wash kale and pat dry. Rip leaves from stems and then tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place into a large bowl and discard stems (or use later in a green juice).
- Halve and pit avocado, then scoop out the meat and add it to the bowl.
- Add the juice of one lemon to the bowl.
- Using your hands, massage the avocado and lemon juice into the kale leaves, squeezing and twisting to coat each leaf evenly with the lemon avocado mixture.
- When done, the leaves should turn a dark green and glisten with the avocado fat and be quite tender when chewed.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- In the picture, I have stood two thinly sliced zucchini pieces on end to create a "bowl" in which to place the salad. This is purely for display purposes and completely optional. I've added sauteed leek, fresh cherry tomato, radish and a spice and seed blend to the salad.
- This salad can be jazzed up in any way you see fit - I've added with apples and pecans, with quinoa, plain, with onions and tomatoes. Choose toppings you love.