Recipe By: Laura Lorenz
2 (2-2 ½ lb) butternut squash
1 c cooked sweet potatoes*
1 medium yellow or sweet onion, roughly chopped
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
1-2 tbsp light-tasting olive oil
1 c soaked raw cashews*
2 ½ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp Indian yellow curry powder
¾ tsp garam masala* (+ more for garnish)
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground turmeric
¼-½ tsp cayenne*
Pinch of ground cardamom
⅛ -¼ tsp ground cinnamon*
½ tsp kosher salt*
Smoked sweet paprika (garnish)
4 c chicken or vegetable broth
1 (13.6 oz) can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
Chives, cilantro, pepitas, whipped coconut cream* (garnish)
To cook the squash, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Then poke 2-3 holes into the squash (each side) with a sharp knife. Place the squash on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 60-80 minutes; or until the squash is soft when stuck with a knife. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, cut it in half, discard the seeds, scoop out the flesh, and set aside. In a large pot over medium heat add the 1-2 tbsp of oil (just enough to barely coat the bottom of the pot), the onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onions are soft. While the vegetables are cooking, blend up the soaked cashews. In a blender, add the drained cashews with ¼-⅓ cup of water and blend on high until mostly smooth, adding a little water if needed. Once the onions are soft, stir in the tomato paste and all the spices, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring continuously. Next, add the cooked sweet potato, squash, broth, and blended cashews, and bring to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes; stirring occasionally. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat, add the coconut milk, and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
*Taste the soup and add any additional salt if needed. To serve, place soup in a bowl and garnish with pepitas, whipped coconut cream, chopped cilantro and chives, and a sprinkle of smoked paprika and garam masala. I like to serve warm naan alongside.
*I baked a whole sweet potato and scooped out the flesh. You can peel it and boil it or dice it and bake it. Personal preference.
*I like to make the squash and the potato a day in advance; this makes the process so much quicker on soup day.
*To soak the cashews, add them to a bowl and cover completely with water. Soak for at least 2 hours. This will make them soft enough to blend.
*There are a lot of versions of garam masala. My favorite is a blend of cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and bay leaf.
*When pairing this soup with a Riesling you will need some heat to balance the flavors. If you aren’t a huge spicy food fan, start with a ¼ tsp taste of the soup after it has been blended, and add more if needed. I love spice so I added ½ tsp and even sprinkled on as a garnish also.
*The garam masala also has cinnamon so start small with cinnamon and move up as needed like with the cayenne.
*You may need more salt depending on how salty your chicken broth is; every broth has different sodium levels.
*If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender but work in batches since the soup is hot.
*I like to make my own coconut cream because I do not like it to be overly sweet. To make the whipped coconut cream-partially drain a can of coconut cream, then whip with a mixer or an immersion blender. Store this in the fridge for at least 2 hours to firm up.