This deeply satisfying soup is super simple to make. Please use the full-fat coconut milk — don’t use the “light/lite” unless you want this to taste meh. I also love this recipe because I nearly always have every ingredient on hand, especially in the fall when the butternut squash are in season. The curry powder is from Savory Spice — it’s called Mild Curry Powder (link below). But I call it the “Hippy Curry Powder” because it tastes like every curry I ever had from “vegetarian restaurants” versus actual Indian restaurants. It’s just pretty much a generic, run of the mill Americanized curry powder.
My state of origin is Missouri/Misery — one of the increasing number of states where women are now considered chattel (sorry/not sorry to bring up politics). But I was lucky enough to have: 1. A grandmother who was a Master Gardener and 2. Lived in Laguna Niguel, California. Long before we had access to anything “exotic” at our local grocer she would send us boxes of Meyer lemons and artichokes fresh from her back garden. The photo above is a scene from the very beginning of my love affair with my favorite vegetable.
Nearly five decades later the opening of a Trader Joe’s in Boulder introduced 12-ounce bags of frozen artichoke hearts in the freezer section for $3.29. And suddenly, the ways in which I could express my love for the vegetable — a member of the thistle family — multiplied.
Yes, yes, YES – I get it. It’s totally not the same thing as a fresh artichoke and yes, I know they are not organic. And this does give me great pause. But when I asked a certain local chain to source frozen artichoke hearts for me back in 2010 the only ones they could find where $18 for 12 oz. Gulp. So I take my chances and hope that an article I read about one of the biggest growers in California switching to more organic methods is actually the case with these ‘chokes.
Super simple, dead-of-winter soup. My husband always calls this kind of soup: A Bowl of Health. And he’s right. You can’t go wrong with onions/garlic, kale, sweet potatoes and a handful of beans when trying to keep ahead of whatever virus is circulating or nourish yourself when you are sick.
The other thing thatI love about this soup is remembering basically how to make it: 1 cup dried beans, 1 onion, 1 sweet potato, 1 bunch of kale, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 Tablespoon miso…
I kinda love butternut squash soup. Sure, if served I’ll eat it, and even I’ll probably even feign that I like it. But most times it’s usually just kinda bland and the texture isn’t all that pleasing. However, this particular recipe I created is actually craveable. In fact, my 16-year-old daughter asked while eating it if I could make this every month in the winter. Yes, I made it in an Instant Pot, but not necessary. For those who don’t have one (is that even possible?!), simply make on the stovetop in a soup pot making certain to cook the squash fully.
The key to making this soup so dang luscious is two-fold: 1. Use full-fat coconut milk in a can. Don’t skimp and use the coconut milk you pour on your cereal or use the ridiculous “reduced-fat” coconut milk. No, just use full octane tasty, silky, fatty coconut milk. 2. Puree in a blender, preferably one like a Vitamix with a lot of horsepower. Don’t be lazy and just use your immersion blender. I promise it won’t taste nearly as good. And then you’ll be disappointed and will likely throw out what you don’t eat. Which is even worse than using reduced-fat coconut milk.
Also, I’m very well aware that simply using curry powder from a jar is not “real” curry powder. Whatever. I make a lot of Indian food and create my own curry, so I get it. BUT sometimes the generic, sorta quintessential American curry powder just hits the spot, especially if you are serving to kids or people who are not huge fans of too much spice. And I don’t know about you, but that generic curry powder is just so evocative of hippie comfort food that sometimes I just crave it.
If you eat gluten, puff pastry might be one of the best things to keep in your freezer all of the time. You can make an elegant vegetarian main dish with whatever vegetables you have in your fridge. This one was made with Delicata squash, onions, garlic, and fennel. And because I had a knob of Parmesan in my fridge, I added it to the top, but definitely not necessary.