The rich history of butternut squash stretches back over 5,000 years, with origins believed to be rooted in the fertile soils of Central and South America, where the Incas cultivated this versatile gourd in the 15th century. Today, butternut squash is celebrated worldwide for its incredible versatility and robust nutritional profile. Packed with fiber, potassium, copper, manganese, and a host of vitamins, including vitamin A precursors, C, B2, B5, B6, B7, K, and more, it's a true gem of the harvest season.
Adding a modern twist to this age-old treasure, we bring you a delightful Butternut Squash Curry Soup. This recipe combines the creamy goodness of butternut squash with the enticing flavors of curry, making it a perfect choice for chilly evenings when you crave something both simple and nourishing. Prepare a batch in advance to have on hand throughout the week, or share it with friends and family at your fall gatherings.
Understanding Curry Powder
Before we dive into the recipe, let's take a moment to understand curry powder. Contrary to what many believe, curry powder isn't a staple in traditional Indian cooking; it's an invention of the British designed to capture the essence of Indian flavors. In Indian culinary traditions, "curry" refers to a sauce or gravy served alongside vegetables or meat.
Ingredients for Butternut Squash Curry Soup
1 tablespoon of coconut or avocado oil
2 medium shallots, thinly diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced (2 cloves yield approximately 1 tablespoon or 6 grams)
6 cups of peeled and chopped butternut squash (1 small butternut squash yields approximately 6 cups)
A pinch of sea salt and black pepper (plus more for seasoning)
1 1/2 tablespoons of curry powder
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 14-ounce can of light coconut milk
2 cups of vegetable broth (homemade or store-bought)
1-3 tablespoons of maple syrup (or substitute with coconut sugar)
1-2 teaspoons of chili garlic paste (optional)
Prepare for Cooking: Begin by heating a large pot over medium heat. Once it's hot, add the coconut or avocado oil, shallots, and garlic. Sauté for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Squash Sensation: Add the peeled and chopped butternut squash to the pot and season it with a pinch of sea salt, black pepper, curry powder, and ground cinnamon. Stir to coat the squash with these flavors. Cover the pot and let it cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Creamy Magic: Pour in the light coconut milk, vegetable broth, and the desired amount of maple syrup or coconut sugar. If you like a bit of heat, you can also add the optional chili garlic paste.
Simmer to Perfection: Bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let it simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender enough to be pierced with a fork.
Blend and Savor: Use an immersion blender or transfer the soup to a blender to purée it on high until it becomes creamy and smooth. If you use a blender, return the soup to the pot.
Season to Taste: Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings as needed. You can add more curry powder, salt, or sweetener to achieve your preferred flavor. Continue cooking for a few more minutes over medium heat.
Serving Suggestions: You can serve this Butternut Squash Curry Soup as is, or get creative with your choice of garnishes, such as toasted pumpkin seeds, additional chili garlic paste, or a drizzle of full-fat coconut milk.
Storing the Goodness: Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. However, this soup is at its best when enjoyed fresh.
Remember, you can garish with many types of toppings to make your dish stand out!
As you savor every spoonful of this Butternut Squash Curry Soup, you're not only enjoying a warm and nourishing meal but also a dish that bridges the gap between centuries of culinary tradition and modern-day flavor. So, gather your loved ones, prepare a pot of this delightful soup, and let the warmth of shared moments fill your hearts this fall.