Recipe: Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Cashew Cream and Fried Sage Leaves

Good morning, everyone!

I cannot seem to get warm between the months of November and August.

But I’ve noticed a couple things that help; hand warmers, fireplaces, coffee, tea and soup. 

Since I’ve started working with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition curriculum and learning more about eating localseasonal and listening to ones body, I have tried my best to follow my body and give it what it needs.

For example, when I wake up in the Spring, Summer and early Fall I tend to crave a big green smoothie. But once about October hits, I no longer crave a green smoothie upon waking, but a warm, soothing bowl of oatmeal instead. Rather than forcing a green smoothie down my throat, I listen to my body and give it what it wants. Another example is gravitating toward a warming cooked dish rather than a raw vegetable salad for lunch. And soup, lots of soup, I could eat soup at every meal if it was possible.

Thanksgiving is already home to many warming vibes, but soup rarely makes an appearance on the Thanksgiving table. Due to the fact that my family had a smaller Thanksgiving this year, I wanted to start us off with a soup appetizer.

I thought I’d showcase one of the most classic of fall vegetables, butternut squash. There are many butternut squash recipes floating around the web, but I wanted to create my own version with just the right texture and the right amount of spices.

I also decided to give this squash a slight Indian vibe with the addition of curry powder and coconut milk. I find the spices in curry powder to be extremely warming and coconut milk gave this a creamy feel. But worry not, both my grandparents, as well as my 13-year-old sister, who are all picky eaters in their own right, really enjoyed this soup.

IMG_6329

The recipe is pretty forgiving. Add more or less seasoning, adjust liquid and thicken to taste, increase coconut milk and decrease broth for a creamier texture, feel free to play around with the recipe, I assure you it is hard to mess up.

Ingredients

For The Soup

  • olive oil to taste
  • 1 onion
  • 1 shallot
  • 1-2 tsp. of curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ~4 lbs. of butternut squash (I used one 2 lb. bag and one mid-sized butternut squash to experiment)
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened, coconut milk

For The Cashew Cream

  • 1/2 cup of raw cashews, soaked overnight or at least an hour
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened, unflavored plant-milk (I used coconut)
  • The juice from half a lemon
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For The Fried Sage Leaves

  • Olive oil
  • Fresh sage leaves
  • Sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375F
  • Toss the cubed squash with olive oil or spray the halved squash with olive oil and sprinkle with seas salt
  • Roast until soft- about 45 minutes
  • Meanwhile, sauté the onion and shallot in olive oil in a big soup pot on the stove
  • Sauté on low heat and slowly caramelize the onion, season with salt, pepper, and curry powder. Adjust to taste.
  • Once the squash is roasted, add it to the soup pot with the caramelized onion, add the broth and coconut milk
  • Using a hand blender, blend the mixture until smooth or alternatively, transfer mixture until a high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste
  • Serve hot or store in the fridge for a few days and reheat when you’re ready to eat. Garnish with the cashew cream and fried sage leaves. Enjoy!
  • For the cashew cream: Drain the soaked cashews and combine with plant-milk, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth.
  • For the fried sage leaves: heat olive oil in a small sauce small until it shimmers, toss in a couple of sage leaves and fry for a few seconds on each side, remove with tongs and put on a paper towel to dry. Store in an air-tight container for up to a couple of days.
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