Posts Tagged ‘curry’

Don’ t you love this time of year? That time of year when the sad, mealy stonefruit of early fall are replaced by glorious, bumpity squashes? Something about the pile of squashes at the market or the grocery store, with all their varying shades and shapes, makes me feel joyful about autumn – right up there with shooshing through the fallen leaves.

Combine those squashes with the official arrival of Soup Season, and the need to use up the jar of curry paste in my fridge and a can of coconut milk in my pantry, and we have this soup.

This soup is easy to make, and ideal for a Sunday afternoon when you’re futzing around the house. It involves roasting the squash first, which adds sweetness and depth. (In fact, if you’re really into squash, you could roast a double batch – one to to have as a side dish with dinner one night, and one batch for this soup.) It’s a forgiving recipe, too. I like to add the potato for extra starch, which helps make the soup creamy, and the carrot for extra sweetness and colour. But if you don’t have these on hand, just straight squash will be just fine.  However. Essential to this soup are the spices and the coconut milk. Without them, it just won’t be the same. It also helps to have an immersion blender to make the soup nice and smooth.

Coconut curry squash soup
serves 6 to 8.
freezes well.

1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2″ chunks
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. mild curry paste (I used Patak’s, but you can use any curry mix you like)
1 tbsp. brown sugar
salt and pepper

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger root
1 tbsp. mild curry paste
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 large carrots, diced
6 cups stock or water (In my world, water and a veggie bouillon cube is acceptable for this soup.)
1 can coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

Roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is heating, peel, seed and chop the squash. In a large mixing bowl, toss the squash chunks with the olive oil, curry paste, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until the squash is soft and and browned. (Tip: deglazing the pan with some water and adding the juices to the soup pot is a good thing to do, and adds flavour to your soup.)

Make the soup: In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion until it softens. Add the garlic, ginger and curry paste and cook 1 or 2 minutes until very fragrant. Add the potato and carrot chunks, the roasted squash, water and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, and simmer for about 45 minutes until all the vegetables are soft.

Taking the soup off the heat, puree with the immersion blender until the soup is completely smooth. If you’re having a dinner party and want to be extra fancy, you can push the puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove some vegetable fibre and make the soup perfectly velvet-smooth. If you just want a bowl of tasty soup, then skip this step. Season to taste. 

Delightful potential garnishes include: chopped green onion, chopped cilantro, toasted pumpkin seeds, a yogurt swirl.


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I vividly remember my first taste of roasted cauliflower. At the tender age of 23, I had just started my First Big Cooking Job, and among my marching orders was to help prep the sides that went with main dishes. One of these was honey garlic cauliflower, roasted at high heat until caramelized, and it tasted like candy.

Sadly, I’m the only one in my household who really likes cauliflower, which means I cook it rarely – and even then, I have to cook it with enough other stuff so that Andy can begrudgingly eat one or two pieces and then eat something else. Tonight, while cooking dinner, I found a small head of cauliflower calling out for my attention, and I decided to improvise.

With awesome results. Look at those caramelized bits!


This could be considered a kind of cheater’s Aloo Gobi. You par-cook the veg, toss them into a mix of curry-spiced yogurt, and roast until crispy and golden brown. Even Andy agreed they were fantastic. I plan to make this again and again.

 Indian-spiced cauliflower and potatoes 
Serves 4 as a side dish; takes approx. 45 minutes from start to finish

Heat the oven to 450F.

1 small head of cauliflower, cut into large florets

1 large potato, cut into 2-inch chunks

¼ cup yogurt

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. curry paste (I used Patak’s Madras Cumin and Chili sauce)

½ tbsp. turmeric

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2-inch piece of ginger root, minced

generous pinch salt

pinch cayenne

Fill a medium-sized saucepan with water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and cauliflower; the cauliflower will float to the top, making it easier to remove (since it cooks faster.) After the cauliflower has cooked for 5 minutes, remove them from the pot and set aside. Continue cooking the potatoes until they can be easily pierced with a fork.

While this is happening, grab a large mixing bowl and combine the yogurt, oil, curry paste, turmeric, garlic, ginger, salt and cayenne.  Toss in the semi-cooked cauliflower and potatoes and toss to combine. (It should smell heavenly.) Spread the vegetables out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Mix them up about halfway through the cooking time so they can brown evenly.

They should look like this:

Devour at will.

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