Meatless Monday: Acorn Squash Curry Soup

It has been squash city throughout the food blogger world recently. I thought I would jump on the band wagon but in a different way. See, I’m not a HUGE fan of the sweet dishes that combine veggies and squash together. I prefer more savory soups and stews (or stoups as Rachel Ray likes to coin them).

Staying close to my favorite flavors, I took elements from my favorite curry and decided to go with a coconut chicken broth base. Instead of using cinnamon, nutmeg, the typical spices when you think of squash, I used curry paste which has its own different realm of flavor. Slightly spicy, the heat gives you a little kick in the background due to the red chilies in this paste. I used light coconut milk which doesn’t have that same richness that regular full fat coconut milk does. But my solution to this was to use chicken broth which brings that stewed for hours flavor. Feel free to use veggie broth which I should have used given this is going up on Meatless Monday, but I just didn’t have any. Use what you have! I try to live by that motto.


This soup is creamy, decadent, and surprisingly low fat. Sure to warm you up on a nice cold Autumn day. Grab your favorite book, a nice blankie, and enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 TBPS EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 celeries, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 acorn squash
3/4 cup chicken/veggie broth (more depending on how you like your soup & how big your squash is, I added as I went along)
2/4 cup coconut milk lite
1 TBPS red curry paste
1 TBPS cilantro, chopped
Lite sour cream
Green onions for garnish
Garlic salt & salt to taste

(Measurements are from what I remember…I lost them last night when I made this, so these are from memory.)

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Half squash down the middle and remove seeds and pulp (melon baller comes in pretty handy). Place squash halves on greased cookie sheet and roast for 30 mins or until meat is tender. Remove and let rest 5 mins.

2. Meanwhile, saute your onions, carrots, and onions in evoo over low to medium heat in a sauce pan until tender and the onions are slightly caramelized (about 5 mins). Sprinkle a tiny bit of salt as this helps the onions “sweat” releasing their flavor and helps to soften the veggies. Add in garlic, saute 1 min more.

3. Once veggies are soft, add in your chicken/veggie broth, coconut milk, and red curry paste. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the brown bits up from sauteing the veggies. Here is where you can play with your measurements. If you like a thicker soup, keep to my measurements above. If you like more of a liquidy soup, add more broth. My philosophy is always to eyeball your measurements and adjust accordingly to your likes and tastes (don’t forget to taste along the way!) This goes for the curry paste as well. If you like spicy, add more curry paste!

4. Scrape the flesh from the squash into your pan with your broth mixture, add your garlic salt and salt to taste, and let simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Allow to cool or just go for it and put the mixture into a blender or use an immersion blender to blend all the ingredients together. Add the cilantro and stir to combine. Warm up.

6. Add to a nice pretty bowl, add a dollop of lite sour cream, and sprinkle with more cilantro or green onions.

**Recipe made by me, enjoy!

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Sweet & Savory Fennel Soup

The leaves turning colors, the nonchalant dip in temperature, breaking out the sweaters, and making some wonderful, heartwarming soups. Fall in a nutshell to me. I’m going to just jump right in and say that this soup with Fennel is delicious, simple, and full of fresh flavor.  I must admit that I was first taken aback by the smell of Fennel but in this recipe the carrots and the fennel caramelize which enhances their sweetness when blended in with the broth. The roasting is the KEY here to take the bite out of the licorice flavored Fennel. The addition of the Fennel fronds adds a wonderful little surprise and texture element. I would rank this as one of my healthier soups…unless of course you wanted to be sinful. A bit of heavy cream anyone?

Roasted Carrot & Fennel Soup

Ingredients:

1 medium fennel bulb with fronds

1/2 lb carrots, quartered lengthwise

1 small onion, quartered

1 garlic clove

3TBS tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/4 teaspoon Truvia/Stevia/Raw Sugar

(Eye ball amount) reduced-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lowest position. Chop enough fennel fronds to measure 1 tablespoon and reserve. Discard stalks and remaining fronds. Slice bulbs 1/4 inch thick and toss with carrots, onion, garlic, 2 tablespoons oil, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Spread in a 4-sided sheet pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.  Blend vegetables in a blender with broth until desired consistency. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Serve soup drizzled with remaining oil and sprinkle with reserved fronds.

G’s tip: * Soup can be made 1 day ahead and chilled.