Calling all winter squash! It’s about to turn to spring here in Indiana, and our pantry is full of random varieties of squashes we’ve collected from the market all winter long. We can’t wait to bust out spring produce like pea shoots and asparagus, but it’s not quite that time yet. Here’s a recipe for any of you looking to use some squash in the pantry before spring is here.
Inspired by a mini Hubbard squash from Randy of Stout’s Melody Acres, we created this recipe on a whim with our friend Erin for a dinner with the lovely Annie of Annie’s Eats and her husband, Ben. Along with some of Randy’s delicata and butternut squash, we came up with this creamy spiced soup.
It’s seasoned with Indian-style spices (curry powder, garam masala, and cumin), mixed with a bit of coconut milk, and topped crispy quinoa and pepitas to garnish. It was the perfect main course for a relaxed evening, with just the right amount of spice, complexity, and heat. We served it with whole wheat chapati and a side salad. I must say it (and the crispy quinoa topping) are one of my favorites to come out of our kitchen this year.
You know those recipes that are special not just because of the taste but the wonderful company they were enjoyed with? This is one of those.
In the meantime, I’m taking off for Cambodia and Laos tomorrow! I’m headed back to the Green Mango Cafe where we wrote our benefit cookbook last year, to teach cooking and English, hang out with the young women there, and do some photo work. I’m so excited to share my time with you; I’m hoping to update our Facebook and Instagram while I’m there, and post few updates on the blog when I return. Check out the cookbook if you’re interested – all the proceeds go to the program, which benefits at-risk women in Cambodia. Thanks to all of you for your support of this program – it means so much to us!
- 5 cups squash puree of any squash, about 4 pounds whole squash (butternut, acorn, Hubbard, and so forth — we used 1 mini hubbard, 1 butternut, and 1 delicata)
- 2 shallots
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 tablespoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon cayenne (depending on your spice tolerance)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 1 cup coconut milk
- For the garnish: Fresh cilantro (or parsley), Crispy Quinoa
- If desired, make the Crispy Quinoa for the garnish.
- Roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 375F. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast until tender, about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the squash. (Note: For the mini hubbard, since it was so thick, we pre-roasted it at 375F for about 30 minutes, and then cut it in half and roasted it with the other squash. We added butternut and delicata to bring out more of a sweet flavor, since that squash was more on the savory side).
- Finely mince 2 shallots. In a large stock pot, add 1½ tablespoons olive oil. Add the shallots and saute 2 to 3 minutes, until softened.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons curry powder, 1 tablespoons garam masala, 1 teaspoon cumin, and ½ to ¾ teaspoon cayenne (depending on your spice tolerance) to coat the shallots. Then add the 5 cups squash puree, 1 quart broth and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Simmer for several minutes.
- Stir in 1 cup coconut milk. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Serve with chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley), a drizzle of coconut milk, and Crispy Quinoa.