I am a reluctant vegetarian. When I moved to Montreal, it became clear that meat was much more expensive than I was used to. Almost $5 more per pound, to be exact. As I am a poor college student with empty pockets, meat was not going to be on the menu. Not when a block of tofu is $2 and will feed me for days. My fate was sealed. Vegetarian, I became. Not necessarily out of desire, but out of necessity.
Coming from cattle country, meat is cheaper than vegetables. The standard dinner table fare is meat and potatoes. I can say, with great certainty, that well over half the population of my home state has never tried tofu and never will. When I tried tofu for the first time, I can't say my attitude was any better. I held the package with two fingers and at arm's length from my body. But once I tasted it, I came around. Tofu and I have since become the greatest of friends.
But here's the twist. I have an unusual and dysfunctional digestive system. As far as my body is concerned, I might as well have been a vegetarian for years. After a couple months of going tofu, I have lost my ability to eat meat without consequence. And so here I am, stuck between two different realms of food. I am the reluctant vegetarian.
This vegetarian roasted butternut squash and apple soup is a nutritiously delicious. It is a thick puree of roasted vegetables, where the squash and apple take center stage. The flavors of the mushrooms and celery are hidden, which makes this soup easily adaptable. You could add cauliflower or any other vegetable with a subtle flavor to pack in more nutrients. This soup smells sweet and is warm and comforting on a cool, fall day.