The creation of the Internet has led to some strange and wonderful occurrences in life. But I’m not sure I’ve experienced a more unexpected social media surprise than pop star Darren Hayes sending me a recipe for soup, with personalised tips on how to make it vegan.
My history of interaction with the ex-Savage Garden singer goes way back. There was the time I gave Darren a Stars Wars figurine as a gift. I was much, much younger and hanging out to meet my pop star idols was a favourite past time. Pop-loving me was was beyond thrilled when Darren phoned me at home in Sydney, Australia that night to say thanks for the action toy.
Fast forward a year or two later and I was hanging out after seeing Darren’s band Savage Garden in concert in Manchester, UK. I think it was around the time I was about to turn vegan and Darren was about to turn gay (love and jokes, Darren!).
Darren loved the Madonna t-shirt I was sporting and invited me onto the tour coach for a short chat about pop music and other hot topics. It was a fabulous opportunity for fan boy me to spend some time talking with someone I looked up to musically.
Then we need to fast forward about 15 years for my next Darren Hayes encounter.
I recently put a shout out across the Twitterverse, asking for suggestions for my new blender. I wanted advice on how I could use my new, super powered blender to make vegan soups.
Following is the unabridged response from one of my favourite pop stars, Mr Darren Hayes. The only thing I changed was to put all of the ingredients raw into my blender. The motor on that thing is so powerful, the soup came out completely cooked and piping hot in no time.
A million thanks to Darren for the years of fabulous pop music and memories… and for now making me understand how perfect apples are as a soup ingredient!
Hey @FatGayVegan here’s my recipe.
Butternut Squash and Green Apple Soup
One large white onion
2 litres of Vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic
3 green apples peeled, diced
a decent sized butternut pumpkin peeled, diced
Dice your white onion and garlic – sauté with a bit of butter or olive oil – basically sweat out until transparent.
Add your spices – cumin, pepper, paprika cumin.. sweat out and build a good flavour base. Add a few tablespoons of your maple syrup too. Get some caramelization in the pan.
Add a little vege stock and de-glaze the pan a bit then add the rest of the vege stock, your diced green apples and diced butternut.
Bring to the boil and simmer until the apple and pumpkin have softened / cooked completely. I often cook for 20 minutes or so.
(An alternative is to roast the butternut separately in the oven and then combine this to the mixture once the apples have softened this gives the soup a bolder, more ‘roasted’ flavour). If you do roast the pumpkin, seperate the seeds and serve them as crunchy croutons later on as a garnish.
Simmer the mixture and taste and season to your liking. When cooled, liquidize the mixture (I find using a hand held blender a lot better). If you have patience, you can strain the mixture back and forth between bowls to keep liquidizing and create an extremely soft texture, but I don’t mind it a bit robust.
When you’ve created a very smooth paste, serve with fresh crusty bread or if you’re ok with dairy, some sour cream swirls and freshly cut
corriander sprinkled on top. If you roasted those pumpkin sees, sprinkle them on top too! Any other vegan substitute would work in place of the sour cream too. Even tofu yoghurt.
It’s simply DIVINE.