Can you smell that? That's the smell of FALL! Warm with all things roasted and spicy. Pumpkin and cinnamon. Apples and cloves and sage oh my!
When I'm looking for a quick and healthy dinner that the whole family will love, I tend to think soup. And when it's fall, I think butternut squash soup. There are so many variations and small tweaks that can be made to any basic squash soup recipe that even if you're making it multiple weeks (or ... ehem ... nights) in a row it can still taste exciting and different.
One of the easiest ways to turn this soup into an easy weeknight dinner is to toss some bake-at-home bread in the oven as you're in the final stages of blending. Warm dinner rolls with melty butter are sure to make your whole family happy (unless they can't eat gluten). You could also toss in some shredded roast chicken, leftover cooked grains (I particularly love quinoa and farro here. Bulgur is also good), or crumbled and crisped sausage, bacon, or pan fried tofu to add some bulk. A tossed green salad would also round out the meal for a lighter fare.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
1 Tbsp (15 ml) coconut oil
2 shallots, thinly diced (~40 g)
2 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp or 6 g)
6 cups (840 g) butternut squash
Pinch each sea salt + black pepper, plus more to taste
1 1/2 Tbsp (12 g) curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 14-ounce (414 ml) can light coconut milk
2 cups (480 ml) vegetable broth
2-3 Tbsp (30-45 ml) maple syrup
optional: 1-2 tsp chili garlic paste
Pumpkin seeds, sour cream, or cilantro to top (optional)
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, shallots, and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add butternut squash and season with a pinch each salt and pepper, curry powder, and ground cinnamon. Stir to coat. Then cover and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add coconut milk, vegetable broth, maple syrup or coconut sugar, and chili garlic paste (if using).
Bring to a low boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until butternut squash is fork tender.
Use an immersion blender, or transfer soup to a blender, and purée on high until creamy and smooth. If using a blender, return soup back to pot.
Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more curry powder, salt, or sweetener as needed. Continue cooking for a few more minutes over medium heat.
Serve as-is or with garnishes of your choice. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. (But trust me when I say this is best when fresh!)