Today has been the perfect lazy, rainy day. I only have one day a week off from work, Sundays, so I often try to catch up on too much on my day off and rarely relax. I did manage to do a fair amount of work around the house (washing, dishes, tidying) but I have spent the majority of the day doing things I enjoy.
I did a little Halloween decorating. Halloween is my favorite day of the year. I always make my own costumes and I try to make the majority of my own decorations. I even by some decorations second hand during rummage sale season. However, every year I just have to give in and buy some new stuff.
Here’s a shot of the decorating I did in the dining room today with my bat tablecloth from a few years ago and the new “Trick or Treat” bunting I bought. The candle is “Purr-Chouli” from Yankee Candle that I inherited from my sister. It’s just the right amount of patchouli without being overbearing.
This is only a tiny bit of how much I decorate, but I am going to try to get it done early so I can actually enjoy the decorations all month. Usually, I decorate the week before our Halloween party, but I am really pushing to be almost full decorated by the end of the week. As the month progresses, I would like to share some old costumes and decorations with you all.
Earlier this afternoon, my friend Aubrey came over and we shared some of that hard sour cherry cider that I posted about last time. Then we had cups of tea and shortbread cookies. I had some Twinings nettle and peppermint that my friend sent me from England. It’s so delicious and sadly, I can’t buy it here.
While Aubrey and I were visiting, our conversation turned to soup, more specifically, how it’s now soup weather in the North Country. She was going home to make a delicious corn chowder and I was wondering if I had anything to make soup. I had the items to make black bean soup, but I wanted some thing creamy and comforting. I still haven’t been grocery shopping so it was slim pickings. I looked in the freezer to see what frozen veg I had and I discovered the last two bags of broccoli florets that I had frozen from last year. My friend and I were talking about roasted veggies today too, so that was on my mind.
Using what few ingredients I could scrounge: two small bags of frozen broccoli, one red onion, just barely enough bullion to make three cups of broth, a can of coconut milk, and five slices of really stale bread, I made vegan cream of roasted broccoli soup with homemade croutons for tonight’s dinner.
Vegan Cream of Roasted Broccoli Soup with Homemade Croutons
1 bag of frozen broccoli Florettes
1 red onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, and smoked paprika – to taste
a drizzle of olive oil
3 cups of vegetable stock
1 cane of coconut milk
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss the frozen broccoli florets with the diced onion, minced garlic, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, and smoked paprika together in a large bowl. Next drizzle a little olive oil into the mixture, just enough so that all of the broccoli is covered when you give it a toss. Spread the broccoli and onion mixture in an even layer on a baking pan and roast for 20 minutes or so, until the broccoli is a little brown.
In a large soup pot, heat the vegetable stock on low. When your broccoli and onions are finished roasting, add them to your broth. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so. When the soup has simmered for 20 minutes, use an immersion blender and blend the soup until it’s creamy. You can also do this with a blender, but please wait until the soup is completely cool. If you put hot soup in a blender, it will explode, covering you in scalding soup. Just take my word for that, okay? Should you want a hearty soup, you can skip this step all together. Finally, whisk in a can of coconut milk into the soup. Cover the soup and let it simmer on low for 10 minutes. The coconut milk adds a nice creamy consistency to the soup, while keeping it vegan.
To make the croutons, cube stale bread and toss the bread cubes with olive oil and spices. To keep the flavors similar, I chose salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. When the bread cubes are fully covered with the spice and oil mixture, spread the cubes in a layer on a baking sheet at 350 degrees, for about 8 minutes. You can throw the croutons in at the same time as the veggies, but keep an eye on them, because they will burn fast.
Serve the soup with the croutons on top with some hard cider at your beverage. A delicious and satisfying meal for a rainy, autumn day.
Now, I am just relaxing with a cider while listening to The Cure and Jethro Tull, enjoying what’s left of my Sunday. I am not a huge TV watcher, but the new episode of “Bob’s Burgers” is on tonight, and I will admit, I am excited.
Have a great night and keep cooking!