Is there something that you go back to again and again in the kitchen? Something you’ve made 100 times and will never tire of? This is that for me. Delicious squash, a bit of a kick from a mild curry mix, and coconut milk… what more could you ask for?
My favourite kind of soup is one that is thick, creamy, and full of vegetable flavour. Long before quarantine, this was a go-to recipe for me, and now in the lockdown I have made it about three times. Maybe even more… It is time to share the recipe.
Butternut squash is a fun and simple ingredient. It smells of all of the fall goodness I love, and reminds me of pumpkins. It is also much easier to handle than a pumpkin. In the fall, this recipe pairs so nicely with beginning of cold weather as it brings heat through spices as well as literal soupy heat.
All you need to achieve deliciousness is a butternut squash, an onion, some coconut milk, vegetable broth, and your handy dandy spice mix.
You first need to peel the butternut squash, then scoop out its insides. I usually cut mine in half before the bulb, then again in half lengthwise. Aaron had a tactic that involved cutting it into slices and then cutting out the seeds and guts. Everyone has their ways. In the end, it just needs to be chopped into fairly even cubes.
While that is being cubed up, you can dice your onion and add it to the pan to start to soften in a splash of olive oil. Add some crushed garlic in there as well, about two cloves or so. Once that mix is softened, add a bit of the curry powder into the pot and stir until the onion is covered. Add your butternut into the pot, and mix it all about. Cook for a few minutes.
Season the butternut mix with more curry powder, salt and pepper, and a small splash of cinnamon. Notorious for not measuring, I am back at it again. I love a lot of flavour. I recommend a hearty amount of curry powder, and a good mix of salt and pepper. A pinch of cinnamon will be enough, probably no more than 1/2 a teaspoon. If you like less curry flavour, then you choose how much to put in, between 1 – 2 Tablespoons.
In the meantime, I have prepared 500 mL of vegetable broth, and either a can of coconut milk or about 400 mL of the carton style. Carton coconut milk will obviously be less creamy, but this is what I had on hand so it is what I used. It does not change the flavour at all. If you have a can, use that. If you don’t, make do.
Finally, add all of the liquid into the pot, until the butternut squash is good and covered, and bring to a boil. I usually add in a squirt of chili paste as well, for good measure. Once boiling, cover but leave the lid ajar, and leave to simmer until the squash is tender – about 15 minutes.
While that was cooking, I sliced some of my sourdough loaf and began to toast it lightly. Sourdough pairs so nicely with this soup (all soups, or really everything). A chapati would also compliment the soup well, if you have some on hand. Or you could make your own naan – see here !
Now, the squash needs to be tender enough to poke through easily with a fork. If that takes more than 15 minutes, that is alright. Work with your kitchen. Once it is tender, turn off the heat and get your handy dandy immersion blender at the ready. You can also transfer bit by bit into a blender, if that is what you have available to you.
Once all blended up, add whatever spices you think may be lacking – more curry powder, more salt or pepper, or more spice!
Finally, serve. Remember, this is a soup and not baby food ! Add some toasted pumpkin seeds and a splash of coconut cream, or greek yogurt, drizzle some olive oil over top and never hesitate to add more salt and pepper on the top. All of these simple gestures make a world of difference.
If I were to serve a multiple course meal, this would be a lovely starter dish. I have the menu all planned out in my head. This soup would be great to get your palate going, and leave you wanting more. It is a perfect lunch and dinner soup for a full meal though, filling you with spice and vegetables in equal portions.
Curry Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 butternut squash, cubed
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1-2 Tbsps curry powder
- 1/4-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 500 mL of vegetable broth
- 1 can, or 400 mL of coconut milk
- 1-2 tsp chili paste
- salt and pepper
- for serving: toasted pumpkin seeds, olive oil, salt & pepper
- Chop onion and garlic. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to a pot and over medium high heat, add the chopped ingredients and cook until softened.
- Add 1/2 of the spices, mix, and cook 2-3 minutes.
- Add butternut squash and the rest of the spices, mixing until covered.
- Add the vegetable broth and coconut milk, add chili paste if using, stir, and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 15-20 minutes – until the squash is tender.
- Blend, using immersion blender or spooning into blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust spices as desired.
- Serve, topping with pumpkin seeds and olive oil.
I encourage you to all make this as soon as you can. Trust me, it will become your addiction. When we make a big pot of it, I eat it happily for two or three days at a time.