I don’t remember how I came to making this soup, but I’m certain that it was a spark of laziness. I’d roasted a pumpkin, hadn’t thought about making stock, pulled together a few random liquids from the pantry and refrigerator. I didn’t have much more than an onion on hand but did have a bunch of spices I’d collected on my travels…and here is was.
Since that moment of laziness, I’ve had many more. So many that you can almost guarantee that a little jar of this soup is sitting in the fridge on any given day at this time of year. It’s grounding, hearty without being heavy, packed full of things your body needs and wants at this time of year, creamy, sweet, spicy and warm.
It was an absolute shoe-in when I popped up at the Rapha Clubhouse in Boulder last week to share some of my favorite healthy holiday recipes and tips last week (read: keep it simple,) and again when we had dinner guests with little time to pull something together.
The recipe here is simple and just a few ingredients long. I like to roast my own pumpkin (butternut squash would also do,) and then everything else just goes in the pot. I keep a couple of onions on hand just in case its a soup kind of day, then season it with spices — whatever I’m feeling like on the day but almost always turmeric, black pepper, and ginger. The recipe calls for a cup of vegetable broth but – full disclosure – sometimes I don’t have that freshly on hand and so have been known to use a high-quality boullion cube in a pinch.
When I want it to eat like a meal – as we did for our dinner guests – I add a scoop of steamed forbidden black rice or basmati rice (as shown), a showering of fresh herbs, a handful of pepitas, and serve it with a nice salad alongside. (This kale salad is a long-time favorite.)
Get this one in your holiday repertoire stat. You’ll have a delicious dish in your back pocket for impromptu dinners, lazy Sundays at home, or anytime you need a lovely little warm up this season. Enjoy!
- 1 small sugar pie or kabocha pumpkins, or other smallish winter squash (or 2 14.5 oz cans of pumpkin pureé)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup coconut butter (or coconut manna)
- 4 tbsp curry paste or gojiuchang
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup vegetable broth or water
- 2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt (or to taste)
- 1 tsp ground turmeric, fresh can also be used
- 1 tsp ground ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place the oven racks in the middle.
- Carefully cut each squash/pumpkin into halves (or quarters). Slather each piece of squash with butter or olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt, place on a baking sheet skin sides down, and pop in the oven. Roast for about an hour or until the squash is tender throughout.
- When the pumpkin/squash are cool enough to handle, set aside roughly 2.5 cups of pumpkin flesh for the soup and reserve the remainder for another purpose.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the onion and a drizzle of olive oil, sauteéing until the onion is translucent. Then, scoop the pumpkin flesh into the pot and stir. Add the coconut milk, curry paste and spices, then bring to a simmer. Once the mixture is simmering, remove from the heat and puree with a hand blender, you should have a very thick base at this point. Now add water a cup at a time pureeing between additions until the soup is the consistency you prefer - a light vegetable stock would work here as well. Bring up to a simmer again and add the salt (and more curry paste or spices if you like, I used just shy of 6 teaspoons but the curry paste I use is not over-the-top spicy). Top with toasted pepitas, fresh herbs or croutons.
- Serves 6.