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autumn

Creamy Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

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Creamy Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

The crux of my entire food philosophy can be summarized in the simple ingredients of this soup - I believe in food that makes you feel good, meaning it doesn’t just taste good and it isn’t just good for you but its both - tasty and healthy, nourishing and delicious. I believe in food that incorporates a wide variety of micronutrients (which you get from eating a ton of different whole-plant-foods) while offering a balanced ratio of macronutrients (fats, carbs and proteins). I believe in food that is seasonal and (at least somewhat) locally sourced. I believe in food that is easy, accessible and quick to make. I believe in food that brings people joy and is happily shared. I could go on, but for now, let me just say - I BELIEVE in this soup! Is that a crazy thing to say? Why don’t you give it a try and see if I’ve made a believer out of you!

Creamy Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

If you couldn’t tell already this is the quintessential creamy fall soup - but my version is fortified with extra good for you ingredients to get you glowing in this season of change. Sweet, savory, creamy and smooth with a hint of spice and extra umami flavor - I think you’ll love the way traditional fall flavors of squash and apple pair with yellow curry and healing spices.

I don’t know about you, but I basically live off stuff like this during this time of year - warm, healing, gut-loving goodness that couldn’t be more delicious. I’ve added some extra special stuff to this particular recipe to give it a truly deep and complex flavor with a wide variety of health benefits (scroll below for the breakdown).

Creamy Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

The best part? This soup comes together in under 30 minutes with minimal prep. It’s also super affordable to make and a total crowd pleaser!

Creamy Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Here’s a few of the stars in this recipe and a little insight into what they do for your body:

Butternut Squash - high in fiber and full of B vitamins, great for immunity and heart health

Apple - again, high in fiber and full of natural sweetness

Miso - a fermented food, just like sauerkraut and kombucha, which means its amazing for your gut. This soybean paste can be found in most regular grocery stores now and adds a level of umami not easily attained in plant-based cooking - it’s flavor is super savory, salty and almost cheesy

Ginger - ginger is an all star digestive aid but it’s tummy-taming benefits are matched by the wonderfully spicy and floral flavor it gives this soup

Turmeric - get glowy with turmeric! This deep yellow cousin to ginger is great for your skin, a powerful antioxidant, and it also happens to be an anti-inflammatory aid - the perfect thing to work into your dishes before the winter season (read: dull skin and colds all around).

Cinnamon - balances blood sugar


Serves: 4-6 people • Prep Time: 10 min • Cook Time: 20 min


  • Roughly 8 cups butternut squash or sweet potato (I used an even combo of the two), peeled and cubed

  • 1.5 16 oz. cans coconut milk (I used a “lite” variety but full fat will be even creamier)

  • 2-3 cups low sodium veggie stock

  • 1 small apple (any variety), peeled and cubed

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 1/4 cup dehydrated mushrooms *TOTALLY optional but so worth it

  • 2 tsp. good quality yellow curry powder

  • 2” knob peeled ginger

  • 1 tsp. fresh or ground turmeric

  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, nutmeg, and cinnamon *optional

  • 2 tsp. white miso paste *optional

  • Salt and pepper to taste

TOPPINGS

  • raw or toasted pepitas a.k.a pumpkin seeds

  • a drizzle of reserved coconut milk OR plain/unsweetened cashew yogurt

  • chives or green onion


Peel and then chop your butternut squash into roughly even pieces (or can buy it pre-chopped in the store for ease). Peel and chop your onion.

Toss your squash and aromatics in a large pot with 1.5 cans coconut milk, vegetable stock, dried mushies, ginger, turmeric and all the spices and allow to come to a simmer. The liquids should cover the veg about half way - later on you can always add more if you like a thinner soup. Simmer on medium heat until the squash is quite tender - apx. 10-15 minutes.

Once cooked, turn off the stove and carefully transfer the contents of the pot to a high speed blender and blend until fully smooth and creamy -depending on the size of your blender, you may have to work in batches. Make sure to taste for flavor and consistency here - you can add more seasoning or more liquid if you wish.

NOTE: ALWAYS be very careful to remove your blenders top vent and cover with a kitchen towel when working with HOT liquids otherwise molten hot the contents may explode. If you use a nutri-bullet or other “top down” type of blender, wait until your soup has come to nearly room temp to do this step and then re-heat. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender right in the pot, but I find I get the creamiest, smoothest result with my Vitamix.

Once blended, immediately transfer to serving bowls and garnish with the suggestions above or your own selections - croutons, vegan grilled cheese or a fresh autumn salad would be a delicious accompaniment.

Keeps well in the fridge for about a week, reheats wonderfully.

 

LOVE THROUGH FOOD, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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Fall Salad with Roasted Kabocha Squash and Creamy Dressing

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This is my go to Fall Salad! It's an all around winner, the perfect combination of flavors, textures and ingredients. If you don't like salads or struggle to eat them, you need to try this recipe. I have been eating it at least a few times a week for the past few weeks and it's safe to say I am addicted, sometimes having a variation for both lunch and dinner. Even though theres some chopping and roasting involved, the whole thing comes together pretty simply and I love that I can prep most of the ingredients ahead of time. I usually eat it as full-on-entree not a side but this would be great to bring to a party or other dinner gathering as it makes a gorgeous presentation.

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My favorite thing about this salad is it's nutritional density and flavor combinations - a complete and healthy meal for sure! Dark leafy greens, filling carbs from the kabocha squash, a boost of protein from the chic peas and healthy fats from the creamy tahini mustard dressing. The addition of tart, dried cherries and pumkin seeds only adds to the healthy benefits (pumpkin seeds are antimicrobial and tart cherries are known to be a natural pain killer)

If you haven't tried kabocha squash you are seriously missing out for a few reasons. One, the texture is my absolute favorite in the squash kingdom - once cooked its soft, creamy and almost custard like. Two, the flavor is sweet but not over powering and three, you don't have to peel it  - yes, you can 100% eat the skin - lazy people rejoice! I've always had luck finding kabocha in my local markets but I didn't always know of it's existence - if you're looking it's dark green with lighter vertical stripes, a round flat shape and a thick stem - it sort of looks like an acorn squash on steroids. I eat this type of squash regularly (in curries, over rice or plain as a snack), I've tried to prepare them many ways but the bake-steam method I detail below is my all-time favorite - especially when seasoned with fall spices. Yum!

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Most salads I make are drizzled with some version of the dressing recipe in this post - it's just the perfect creamy style dressing that taste good on pretty much anything. Make sure you use a high quality, authentic Israeli or Middle Eastern brand of tahini because some of the conventional brands are too thick and taste a bit bitter. You will love it drizzled atop any fresh veg (I particularly love it on tomatoes)  and when you take a bite that includes all of the goodies in this salad, you will know why I haven't been able to eat much else for the past few weeks. 

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The thing about salads is this - you can totally make swaps for all of these ingredients - can't find kabocha, use butternut squash. Don't like tomatoes? Use another veggie instead. Out of pumpkin seeds? Use sunflower seeds or walnuts! Want more? Bulk it up with quinoa, rice or another grain. I often hesitate when writing a recipe for a salad because it can be so straightforward and intuitive but this one is totally worth it!


Serves: 1 large salad, 2 side salads • Prep Time: 30-40 minutes 


Sweet roasted Kabocha Squash

  • 1/2 small kabocha squash, cleaned, de-seeded and cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup 
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup water

1. Preheat your oven to 425*F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Clean, de-seed and dice the kabocha squash (remember you can eat the skin of this particular squash) and transfer the squash to your sheet pan. 

2. Sprinkle on salt, spices and maple syrup - toss to combine and spread the squash out in an even layer on the pan. Place the pan in the oven and carefully pour 1/4 cup water over the top - this will help the squash cook without oil, leaving the pieces tender and slightly crisp on the outside.

3. Roast the squash for 20-25 minutes until desired done-ness is reached. 

4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before serving on the salad


Roasted Spiced Chic peas

  • Can of chic peas, drained and rinsed 
  • 1 tsp. garam masala spice blend
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

1. Preheat your oven to 425*F (I recommend doing it at the same time as the squash since they cook at the same temperature) and line and baking sheet with parchment paper

2. Drain and rinse a can of chic peas (I always go for the low-sodium variety) and use a paper towel or tea towel to lightly press some of the dampness off the beans

3. Transfer to the sheet pan and sprinkle with spices and salt - toss to combine

4. Add the chic peas to the oven and roast for apx. 10-15 minutes. The end result with be crisp on the outside and still soft inside - I love this texture but you could roast them longer to get them fully crunchy-crisp - just watch them carefully so they don't burn.


Creamy Mustard Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 cup good quality tahini
  • 2 tbsp. grainy mustard
  • 1-2 tbsp. maple syrup, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (you can also try using balsamic, just add a bit more to get the right acid balance)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (try fresh orange juice if you like a sweeter dressing)
  • 2 - 4 tbsp. water
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, salt

1. In a mason jar or bowl add all ingredients (except water) and whisk together till well combined.

2. Slowly add water 1 tbsp. at a time till a rich-creamy-drizzel-able consistency is reached. You can store this in your fridge for up to two weeks, and it is good on everything so I reccomend making a double batch!

NOTE: If you have ever made tahini dressing before you will know that it thickens up FAST! I can make a batch with perfect consistency one minute and the next it is wayyyy to thick so you may have to whisk in a bit more water right before pouring it over the salad. If you are making it in advance, always know that you'll have to thin it out when taking it out of the fridge. This is a total win-win thought because this stuff can really stretch!


The Salad Components

  • A healthy few handfuls of any greens you like - I especially love asian mix, baby kale or arugula
  • A generous sprinkle of pumpkin seeds
  • A few Roma tomatoes, cut into half moon slices
  • Cucumber, cut into  half moon slices
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries

1. To assemble the salad place a bed of lettuce in a large shallow bowl and toss with a squeeze of lemon juice

2. Chop your fresh veggies and lay them on top, then place some of your cooled squash and  chic peas over the salad (you will have left overs which is great). 

3. Next, sprinkle on the dried cherries and pumpkin seeds. 

4. Finally, drizzle the dressing across the top (you will have a bit extra left over, which I use for dipping).

 

Here's to eating food that feels good!

LIMITLESS LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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