Curried Coconut Squash Soup

Yesterday the sky was a stunning turquoise, the clouds were perfectly puffed and symmetrically dotted, never once blocking the rays of the sun that cut right through the harsh wind disturbing the many hoops in my ears.

I took my lunchtime run on the banks of the Genesee River. It was the perfect escape from the fluorescent writer’s corner I where I spend nine of my precious hours five days a week.

What else could come to my mind other than “damn, I gotta make some kick ass soup tonight.”

Last week at the South Wedge Farmer’s Market a got a big, beautiful $1 locally-grown, organic acorn squash so I decided to put that baby to use and created one of the best recipes I’ve ever made; honest to goodness, this curried coconut squash soup is downright mouth-watering. While it’s a bit labor-intensive for a week day soup, it is by no means an all-day project that needs a wide-open sunday to concoct.

I roasted down the squash in the oven with a rub of olive oil, curry and spices so it developed its own richness before I even added it to the soup. I caramelized some onion while the squash was roasting to develop some depth out of them as well. You don’t have to follow these initial steps if you are really pressed for time, but in my opinion, this is what really gave the soup its richness and complexity.

Any way you choose to use the ingredients to make this soup, it’ll be a stunner, I guarantee it!

Curried Coconut Squash Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large acorn squash (or any squash you prefer), seeded and cut into fourths.
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can organic coconut milk (from a can, not a carton)
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. tumeric
  • salt & pepper to taste

Begin by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. Place your squash fourths on a greased cookie sheet and rub with 1 tbsp. of the olive oil, 1/2 tbsp. of curry powder, salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until each piece is soft, moist and fork-tender.

While squash bakes, heat remaining olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Thinly slice your onion and add it to the oil. Let onion cook over this lower heat for about 30 minutes. To the onion and oil, add the veggie broth, coconut milk, and minced garlic. Turn heat up to medium-high and let flavors simmer together. Once squash is done, take out of the oven and let cool until you can handle it with your hands. Peel off the skin, cut into bite-size cubes and throw into the soup, mashing it a bit with a fork until it’s pleasantly chunky. Next, add the remaining curry powder, garam masala, tumeric, red pepper flake, cumin, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Let soup simmer on this medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, then turn heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking and you are ready to dig in! If you want, you can puree this soup like traditional squash soups, but I wanted to leave mine on the chunky side. It was already smooth enough for me with the coconut milk and mashing my squash a bit with a fork.

Seriously, give this soup a go. It’s the perfect way to spend a cozy fall evening, it’s decadent, healthy, and satisfying. Plus, it’s pretty!

Enjoy, buttercups!

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