Orange is the New Black.
The darker and darker nights ahead creep toward us, soft and slow but deft on black cat paws. I wake to the dry scratch clatter of leaves spinning down the gravel stone driveway, riding the wind skedaddle style like a gaggle of arrowed geese. I yawn awake dreaming of soup, imagining my favorite wooden spoon stirring the humble beginnings of some jewel toned potage as the French like to call it. Or so I'm told.
I don't speak French.
I'm craving soup today like a mad woman, you see. Like some Shakespearean witch in the thick wild woods, I long to stir a little seasonal magic into a pot of silky, orange hued soul food. So this week I conjured cooked up a curried fall classic. Every year from October through December I make batches of this gorgeous, comforting soup. That just so happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
The secret is- use ripe flavorful squash. Choose a butternut squash with firm golden-tan skin. The squash should make a hollow ring when thumped.
So go! Get thumping. Rustle up your own cookery magick.
Karina's Butternut Squash Soup Recipe with Coconut Milk
This creamy and cozy soup recipe uses butternut squash (my personal favorite among the Cucurbit family) but you could also use fresh pumpkin in the spirit of the harvest season. Knock yourself out.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2-3 teaspoons mild gluten-free curry powder
4 cups diced butternut squash
4 to 6 cups light vegetable broth (or fresh water)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or raw agave nectar, to taste
½ to 1 cup coconut milk
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and curry powder; stir and cook until the onion softens. Add the squash and broth. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer.
Simmer until the squash is very soft and fork tender- maybe 30 minutes. Add a bit more water if you need to keep the squash from sticking to the pot- I didn't need to, but, Bubbe you never know.
Puree the soup with an immersion blender till smooth. Stir in the maple syrup and coconut milk. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.
Warm through gently and serve.
Once in a blue moon I've been known to add an apple or two to this recipe. Try it if you're in the mood to apple up the flavor; taste test for seasoning adjustments.
Variations include adding a dash of dry sherry or Calvados brandy and serving with shredded apple garnish, or add some curry and hot red pepper flakes and serve with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.
For those of you preferring lower glycemic carbs, use agave nectar instead of maple syrup.
I love coconut milk in this creamy soup, but if you prefer a different milk or cream, knock yourself out. It's all good.
More Autumn Soup Goodness From Food Blogs:
Simply Recipes Spicy Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkin and Roasted Corn Soup from FatFree Vegan Kitchen
Alanna's Simple Butternut Squash Soup
Kalyn's Kitchen Zucchini and Yellow Squash Soup with Rosemary and Parmesan