It finally started to feel like fall this week in New York City with what felt like a rapid drop in temperature. A comforting bowl of soup is what I immediately crave when the seasonal chill starts to set in. Using an immersion blender or high speed blender is the perfect way to achieve creamy soup without dairy or butter. Additionally, the squash has a good amount of body and starch which allows for a creamy and decadent texture sans the cream. In my continual quest to optimize nutritional value in my food, I added immune boosting ginger and curry powder to the soup base.
Ginger is both anti-inflammatory and immune boosting. It contains phytonutrients which reduce cell damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. Ginger has also been shown to have antimicrobial abilities and may play a positive role in the prevention of microbial growth. It can also be used as a complementary treatment for osteoarthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is also a known aid for nausea and vomiting and can be helpful for morning sickness or an upset stomach.
Curry powder lends a strong flavor footprint to this soup. You can blend up your own combination of turmeric, coriander, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and paprika, or opt for a mix from your favorite spice company. The spices not only add depth of flavor, but are immune boosting and anti-inflammatory, especially turmeric and cinnamon.
To add dimension to the soup, swirl in some coconut milk and top with freshly squeezed lime, maple curry pumpkin seeds, and cilantro.
ginger curry butternut squash soup
4 to 6 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and chopped
6 cups chicken bone broth or vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground pepper
Toppings: maple curry pumpkin seeds (recipe below), cilantro, lime juice, chives/scallions, coconut milk
maple curry pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (or butternut squash seeds, rinsed and dried)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon maple syrup
In a large dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, and ginger and cook for 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and toast the spices for 30 seconds, releasing the spices’ flavor. Stir in the squash, coating it in spices.
Add stock, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 40 minutes until squash is very tender.
While the soup cooks, make the maple curry pumpkin seeds. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the pumpkin seeds with 1 tablespoon olive oil, curry powder, and maple syrup on a parchment paper covered sheet tray. Cook for ten minutes, tossing halfway through. Watch seeds carefully because they can burn easily.
Turn off soup and let cool slightly. Working in batches, transfer soup to a blender to puree. Start blender at a very low speed and gradually increase the speed until soup is smooth. Alternatively, use an immersion blender to puree soup.
Ladle soup into bowls and top with pumpkin seeds, a swirl of coconut milk, fresh lime juice, cilantro, scallions, and additional salt and pepper, if you wish.