Recipe: Pumpkin-Ginger Soup (Vegan)

Ingredients:

1 small pumpkin
1/2 cup raw cashew pieces
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger (or to taste)
salt to taste

Instructions:

[If you cook the pumpkin in advance (possibly while using the oven for something else) this can be a quick recipe. Or cook the pumpkin in the microwave: cut in half and remove seeds and strings. Wrap each half tightly in plastic wrap and microwave one half at a time on high 8-10 minutes, rotating (if necessary) every 2 minutes and turning the pumpkin half over midway through the cooking time. Stop when the pumpkin seems almost done and let stand for about 10 minutes before removing the pulp.]

Soak cashews in water to cover for at least 2-3 hours.

Using a sharp, heavy knife, carefully cut pumpkin in half. Scrape out seeds* and place cut side down on a cookie sheet (line sheet with parchment for easy clean up if you like.) Bake at 350° until very tender, about 1 hour. Scrape pumpkin from the peel and puree in a blender in small batches, or mash with a fork. Put pureed pumpkin in a heavy bottomed pan. Put cashews and soaking water in blender and puree until smooth. Add cashews to pumpkin. Rinse the blender with a little more water and add to the pot. Add ginger and salt to taste and heat gently for a few minutes. If soup is thicker than you like, continue to add water until it seems right.

Notes:

* Roasted & salted pumpkin seeds are a great snack. Rinse them & spread on a towel to dry. Spread out on an oiled cookie sheet and roast at 250° for 1 hour, shaking occasionally. Salt if desired, let cool, and store in a tightly closed container.