A sweet and savory blended soup, similar to (a copycat?) Panera's Creamy Squash Soup, but yummier.
Remove your leftover squash from the refrigerator. Just set it aside and let it begin to come to room temperature.
Or, you can start by roasting the squash, and then let it cool down long enough to handle. In which case, you just added like 2 hours to this process.
Give the onion a rough chop: since everything is going to be blended up, you don't need to make it pretty - just manageable.
Heat up about 1 tbsp of water and the vanilla in a shallow pan, add onions and saute* until translucent. Add water as needed.
*If you're feeling extra fancy, caramelize those fuckers. It'll give the soup an extra depth. This is a pretty good explanation for how to caramelize onions, although it does use butter, which I don't do. I find that using water + vanilla works as a great substitute to butter, and I always deglaze once with water.*
Chop the bell peppers into half (ish) inch pieces.
Toss them in with the cooked onions, just for a couple-few minutes, until they're a little bit less than raw, but not squishy. They just need to be soft enough to blend.
*If you got fancy and chose to caramelize the onions this part will make your veggies look pretty ugly - the peppers + the caramel-y onions = chunky slimy goo mess. Just trust me: they'll taste fucking fantastic.
Remove the onion/pepper goo from heat and set aside. It will begin to cool.
Check your carrot situation, since you'll be grabbing that shit as soon as the onions are done.
If you're using frozen carrots, make sure they're thawed now. If not, toss them into the microwave for about 20 seconds at a time. They don't need to be warm, just soft.
If you're using canned, open those fuckers up and drain them.
** We're not putting carrot into squish soup for their flavor, but for the color and nutritional value of them. Don't get me wrong - they're super fucking tasty, but they're also pretty mild, so add as many/much as you want. I've even tripled this amount just to stretch the soup farther - without fucking up the taste.
If you're using Penzey's vegetable soup base (it's stupid good and lower in sodium than any pre-packaged broth I've seen) now is a good time to boil about a cup of water. You'll need a small amount to dissolve the soup base (it's a thick paste) into. Using a small amount just makes it easier to ensure that all of the paste is dissolved. You're basically making a soup broth concentrate.
Put your vegetable stock and water into a soup kettle/pot/cauldron (whatever you use) and give it a little stir. Don't start heating it yet.
** If you're using Penzey's vegetable soup base, you've already dissolved the paste into the boiling water and created your soup broth concentrate. Put it into your pot with 5 more cups of water. Don't start heating it yet.
Use a blender or food processor, puree the cooked squash and add to your soup broth. Add a bit of water as you go to keep the consistency thick, but smooth.
Depending on the size and power of your blending tool, you may want to do this about a cup at a time. Just scrape the blended squish into the soup pot as you go.
Puree/blend the onion, pepper, carrots, oranges (or orange juice concentrate) soymilk, and applesauce. Add to the soup kettle (pot?).
These don't need to be blended all together. They just need to be blended. Hell, you can puree each item separately for all I care. So do. (50 gold stars if you get the Charlie Kelly reference.)
Now start dumping all of the spices and vanilla into the soup pot. (I'm just sticking with pot.) Stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate. If you have a stick blender, get that bitch out and stick it in - before the soup gets hot.
Now turn the heat on low and simmer, stirring whenever you think of it. It generally takes about half an hour for mine to heat up all of the way, but the longer you simmer, the tastier the soup will be.
Squish Squash Soup courtesy of Crunchy Granola https://crunchygranola.goatshark.com/squish-squash-soup/