just a smidgen

Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash with Asparagus Shoots

Butternut Squash Soup with Asparagus 3

A friend of mine got married on the weekend.

It was such a lovely affair, but not in a “stuffy” formal way.. there were smiles and laughter everywhere.
One of the best ideas, was the photo booth, where guests could select dress up items and pose for photos.

The theme was black and white, tables were set up in a beautiful old bank that has long since become a popular restaurant called Teatro’s.

Tall black vases held bouquets and their grown children and young friends were quite dashing in their formal wear.

Sorry this is so dark.. it’s a panorama shot taken from my iPhone just to give you an idea.


It will be a while before our children get married, so it is a rare gift these days to be asked to share in the vows made by two people so much in love.

I love weddings.

There is wistfulness on the faces of the young.. for others memories of our own marriages and there is a longing in the faces of those who have lost their partners through sickness or old age. Of course, there is eager anticipation and joy on the faces of the bride and groom.

I think couples commit to one another in front of family and friends, not to show off a lavish gown, flowers and decor
{ Although you couldn’t help but stare at all of that! }

but as a reminder that each of us needs to be there, supporting this new couple in the decision of a lifetime,
lifting them together through their journey ahead.

Butternut Squash Soup with Asparagus 1

They planned a seven course meal and the sight of wide saucers brimming with a golden butternut squash soup was a delight.
With the very first mouthful, they surprised us with hidden pieces of tender asparagus shoots.

I made a mental note to figure that recipe out.

I’m not sure I “nailed” it, but I kept adjusting spices until I got a taste that was a keeper.

This is not a breakfast in bed tray, nor a picnic, but photos taken outside because it still gets dark so early up here on the Canadian Prairie!
If you don’t have light, you’ve just gotta take it outside!

Butternut Squash Soup with Asparagus 4

 { A few of you emailed to say you loved my Borscht recipe, that makes me blush as red as a beet;) }

Thanks to Carol for pointing out a few omissions in my instructions, changes have been made,
but I was glad you could figure it out on your own when you needed to!

Butternut Squash Soup with Asparagus 2

Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash with Asparagus Shoots
  • 2 small butternut squash (only 1 1/2 pieces are required for the soup)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet white onion, diced
  • 3 small carrots, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 4 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1” wedge peeled and freshly grated ginger
  • 2 x 900 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 can light coconut milk, shaken vigorously
  • 1 head cauliflower, florets, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • pinch saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 bunch (20 stems) asparagus, steam, chopped
  • 4 thyme sprigs, stems removed
  1. Snap the woody stems from the bottom of your asparagus stems, rinse well and steam just until a fork can pierce the stem. Do not over cook. Cool, cut into 1/2" segments. Set aside for later.
  2. Meanwhile,cut each of the two butternut squash in half, lengthwide. It's a bit tricky, but cut up to the stem then crack apart. Scoop out the seeds. Line a baking sheet or pan with foil and place each half flesh down on the foil (skin side up). Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes or until they can be pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven, flip over and allow to cool.
  3. In a dutch oven or soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, yellow pepper and stir, cooking until the vegetables have softened somewhat. Stir in the garlic and fresh ginger and continue to cook and stir for a minute or so longer.
  4. Pour in the vegetable stock, light coconut milk and cauliflower florets. Scoop the flesh out of 3 halves of the butternut squash, setting one aside for another use.* Add the butternut squash pulp to the soup. Stir, cooking until the soup heats through and the cauliflower has softened enough to purée.
  5. Season to taste with thyme, pinch of saffron, maple syrup, and powdered ginger.
  6. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  7. Using a blender, working in batches, pour the soup mixture only until the blender is 1/2 full. If you fill it higher than that it may burst the lid. Pulse to purée the soup. Return puréed soup to a new pot and then repeat until all of your soup is puréed and silky smooth.
  8. Stir in the chopped asparagus and fresh thyme. Return to the stove to heat through.
  9. Serve.
* We love chopped butternut squash added to our salads.

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