In a frying pan or large saucepan, heat up the olive oil on medium heat and sauté the diced onion 1-2 minutes until translucent.
Add the cubed butternut and continue to sauté for 15 minutes on medium heat with lid on, stirring every few minutes.
Add the minced garlic, chopped fresh sage, oregano and black pepper. Stir and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.
Add the risotto rice and fry it for 1 minute while stirring to coat the rice grains with oil.
Briefly stir in the bouillon powder and garlic powder, then deglaze by adding the soy sauce, lime juice (or lemon or vinegar) and ¼ cup of water. Stir and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until the liquid is completely absorbed.
Add enough boiling hot water to just cover the rice (about 1 cup), and stir.
With the lid on, simmer on medium heat for 20-25 minutes. Every few minutes, stir well and top up with boiling water to keep the rice covered with liquid. (see notes)TIP: Keep a saucepan of water just simmering on low heat on the hob while the risotto is cooking, so you always have boiling hot water to add to the pan.
When the rice is al dente, meaning it is cooked but still has a little bite to it, take the risotto off the heat and stir in nutritional yeast. Adjust the liquid by adding hot water if needed, to get a creamy consistency. The perfect risotto consistency is smooth creamy and slightly thick, but just about pourable with no pools of liquid forming. However, the risotto will continue to absorb and thicken for a while even after taking it off the heat. Keep covered with a lid until serving.
Toast the sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a small saucepan or skillet on medium heat, until beginning to brown. Stir or toss frequently to keep them from burning.
For the crispy sage oil, place whole fresh sage leaves (washed and patted dry) and oil in a small saucepan and heat up over medium heat.When the leaves start to sizzle, sprinkle in the salt and stir briefly. Fry for another 15-30 seconds, then take the pan off the heat.
On the plate, top with sage oil and crispy sage leaves. Serve with salt and pepper on the table, and optional extra nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan for sprinkling on.
How much hot water will I need?
The amount of water needed is not linear to the amount of risotto you make. While more rice will of course absorb more water during cooking, how much water is lost to evaporation is mainly depending on the pan size and how much of the time the pan is covered.The total amount of water can therefore vary, and cooking smaller amounts of risotto will require proportionally more water than larger quantities.The minimum amount of water needed is about 2.5 cups of water per 1 cup of rice (600 ml per 200 g rice), but can be as much as 4 cups per 1 cup of rice (1L per 200 g).
Why are you adding boiling water instead of stock?
In traditional risotto, stock or broth is gradually added from a simmering pan on the hob, to incorporate flavour into the rice. Instead, we add stock powder to the rice before adding any liquids, and just add boiling water later. This way, there is no leftover stock once the risotto is done. Plus, the flavour is always the same, no matter how much liquid you add during cooking (see note above).