Curried Squash Soup (vegan/gf)

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Confession:  I love soup… BUT I don’t love soup that has been completely pureed (I like it well enough, just no love) – I prefer some varied texture to make me feel more satisfied.  I also love winter squash, and squash soup very often implies a meal you can drink from a cup.  Not my fave, as you know if you’ve been following along so far.  Therefore, it was a pretty awesome and world-broadening day when I realized that butternut squash soup didn’t have to be an orange, mono-flavor liquid.  So with that confession out of the way, and a farmers’ market squash and other winter vegetable friends in hand, I bring you my take on squash soup – packed with flavor, and only *mostly* pureed.  :)

(P.S. I won’t judge if you decide to puree it all the way.  What passes between you and your soup is your little secret.)

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Curried Squash Soup

This soup is bursting with flavor (and nutrition!) from not only the fabulous, in-season vegetables, but also supporting actors lemon and curry.  Inspiration for the curry comes from a roasted curried cauliflower recipe from the IDEA Fitness Journal, sent through an email service by a dear friend, wellness coach Lindsay Mattingly.  Check out her blog here!  Feel free to substitute or add whatever vegetables you have on hand – I might try cauliflower (go figure!), red pepper, beets (but be prepared for some purple soup!), and some spinach or other greens after the pureeing step – it’s all up to your own creativity (and availability)!

1 medium-large butternut squash, 1/2-inch dice

2-4 parsnips (mine happened to be small, so 4 worked for me, but 2 large would probably do it), 1/2-inch dice

3-4 medium carrots, 1/4-inch dice

1 red onion, sliced

5-6 cloves garlic

Curry:

4 TBS olive oil

2 TBS curry powder

1 tsp salt

zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1 lemon, divided (about 2 TBS total) – 1 TBS for the curry

pinch cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)

2 TBS fresh cilantro, chopped (could also definitely use more, according to your tastes – I wish I had more than just the little bit in my fridge leftover from another dish)

Soup preparation:

about 2 cups veggie stock (I made mine homemade for the first time for this recipe!) or water

1/2-1 cup light or full-fat coconut milk (the kind that comes in a can for like $0.99… I always have some on hand, and I recommend the same for curry lovers like me, and also lovers of experimental baked goods :)  NOTE:  Any kind of other milk would also do the trick!

fresh cilantro, chopped, to taste

freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.  Place prepared vegetables in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl whisk together all curry ingredients.  Pour mixture over vegetables and toss to coat evenly (I just got in there with my clean hands…).  Transfer vegetables to a baking dish (or two, if necessary) that has either been greased or lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking, and arrange in a single layer.  Roast in oven until veggies are quite tender, about 25-30 minutes, tossing the vegetables once with tongs.  Place MOST of the roasted vegetables (but make sure ALL of the garlic makes it) in a soup pot with enough liquid to puree with an immersion blender (or do the same in another kind of blender).*   Add milk and reserved vegetables and adjust seasonings.  At this point, the soup is probably hot enough to serve (depending on how much dilly-dallying went on between the veggies leaving the hot oven and now), but continue heating on low-medium if necessary.  Add cilantro and remaining half of the lemon juice just before serving.

*NOTE:  The details of the pureeing step are really up to your texture preferences in terms of how much liquid you use and how many of the vegetables you keep intact… follow your gut.  In fact, I even did some pulse blending after I added in my reserved, intact vegetables, because I wanted to bridge the gap between the whole veggies and liquid veggies in my soup.

Serves 6-8.

IMG_3387Before…

IMG_3388After!

IMG_3394Like I mention above, I wish I had had more cilantro, at least for garnish, but basil was a fine substitute.  Bon Appetit!

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