Vegan Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Soup

Main

As the days are getting colder and darker there is nothing I like better than enjoying a good creamy soup with some home-made bread to dunk in.  This soup ticks all the right boxes, delicious, filling, cheap to make, enjoyed by the full family and really healthy too.  What could be better!  This is only enough soup for about 4 people, so if you need more than just scale up the ingredients.  If you make too much then this can easily be frozen, I’ve just completely run out of space in my freezer hence why I only made a small amount 🙂

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 4 or 5 Large Sweet Potatoes
  • 150g Chestnut Mushrooms
  • 125g Onions
  • 1 Litre Vegetable Stock
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • Sea Salt
  • Pinch of Fresh Rosemary
  • Pinch of Fresh Thyme

Method

  • Peel and chop the butternut squash, sweet potatoes, onions, mushrooms, and put these in a large pan
  • Finely chop the garlic and herbs and add this to pan along with a little sea salt
  • Cover the vegetables with the stock and bring to the boil
  • Let the vegetables simmer for about 50 minutes until all ingredients are soft and starting to breaking up
  • Add half of the cooked vegetables and a ladle full of the liquid they were cooked in to a food processor and blend until almost smooth
  • Add the soup from the processor to a pan if using immediately or a container if keeping, and do the same again with the rest of the cooked veg
  • It’s best to blend in 2 halves to make sure all the lumps are gone
  • This can now be served straight away, or kept for later
  • Serve with a homemade crusty bread roll
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Tahini Paste

Tahini Paste

Tahini Paste is a staple everyone should have in their fridge! It is used in so many recipes that it’s always handy to have.  It’s a common ingredient in Mediterranean cooking, which i find goes hand in hand with a lot of yummy Vegan recipes.  Mostly known for it’s use in Hummus, Tahini Paste can be used for so much more than that, which you will come to see from my cooking. This is so quick and easy to make too, you’ll never need to buy a jar again. Two ingredients and you’re ready to go!  I couldn’t find Tahini Paste in shops near me, but sesame seeds are available everywhere so making your own is the perfect solution.

I’ll be using this quite a bit in future recipes, so when I mention homemade Tahini paste, this is it!  Once made you can keep this in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.  If you get close to that point and still haven’t used this, no need to panic.  This paste can also be used as a scrummy dip with your favourite fruit or vegetable sticks, kind of like a runnier peanut butter 🙂

Various Servings

Ingredients

  • 1.5 Cups/225g Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Cup/ 200ml Olive Oil

Method

  • Pre-heat your oven to 160°C/ 325°F/ Gasmark 3
  • On a lined baking tray spread out the sesame seeds then put the tray on the middle shelf of the oven
  • Toast the seeds for about 6-8 minutes, shaking them about occasionally
  • Don’t let the seeds go brown, they just need to be lightly toasted
  • Transfer the seeds to a bowl and let them cool down fully
  • Once cooled pour the seeds into a food processor and pulse them for about 1 minute
  • Add half of the oil and blend them for another minute
  • Give this a good stir so you can check the consistency
  • You want this to be an almost smooth paste that is runny enough to pour, so turn the food processor on again and gradually add the remaining oil, a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  • When this is done transfer the paste into an airtight container and keep refrigerated until needed

Welcome to my new blog

Hello and welcome!

After having 3 babies in the space of 2 years I have to admit I became a lazy cook and eater. My life revolves around babies and finding the time to eat a healthy diet has never been a priority for me. My boys eat a good balanced diet, but I don’t want them to grow up seeing their mum eating junk.  Nor do I want my children to grow up seeing me battle with weight issues, or go on the many fad diets that are out there.

I want us all to eat a healthy, balanced, home cooked menu, and sit as a family to eat.  Mealtimes should be an important time of the day, a time when the full family sits down, talks, and enjoys each others company and a lovely meal!

So these are my goals:

  • Buy a big enough dining table for us all to sit round. Luckily this isn’t an issue at present as the boys are still in high chairs and Tabitha is still breastfed.  But it won’t be long before we’re all sat together.
  • Start cooking meals from scratch every night.
  • Use fresh and were possible organic ingredients
  • Make meals that we can all enjoy together, instead of cooking separately for Lincoln & Zachary.
  • Eat and live a full Vegan lifestyle.  I won’t force Chris or the children to be Vegan, but I will try to make meals for us all were they can either eat the same as me or have some meat on the side, so the main part of the meal is all cooked together.
  • Become a better cook.
  • Take over the main cooking duties from Chris.  I’m so lucky that at the minute Chris does a lot of the cooking, but as Tabitha gets older it should be easier for me to slip away to the kitchen and get things done.

The main purpose of this blog is to keep a record of recipes and meal ideas, and hopefully inspire other people to follow a Vegan lifestyle.  There may also be other Vegan related content on here.

I want to show that being Vegan doesn’t mean you need to live off lettuce leaves, but that you can enjoy good, home cooked, family meals :-)

In an ideal world I would love to cook fresh food every day, but I am also realistic.  I live in a busy household and sometimes I will need to use packets, tins, frozen, anything to make a quick a meal.  Sometimes I won’t have the chance to get to the Grocery shop and so will just have to use whatever is in the kitchen cupboards.  Sometimes I’ll have a screaming baby in the sling and the last thing I’ll have time for is to spend hours in the kitchen.  Sometimes my meals won’t be the absolute healthiest, or I’ll make too many deserts or cakes.  But they will all be Vegan, all be delicious and enjoyed by all of the family :-)