Los Angeles is famous for its Indian summers. September and October have actually become my least favorite months because when the rest of the country is eating pumpkin and wearing sweaters, Los Angeles is usually experiencing some sort of dreadful heat wave.
I crave the changing of seasons, the falling trees and the cool air. And often times, I feel like I’m the only person in Los Angeles who rejoices when the weather forecast reads “a chance of rain.” Yesterday was a pitch perfect day: it was chilly, rainy and cloudy. I of course celebrated by putting on socks and making a big pot of soup.
This soup is one of my go-tos. The base of this soup is creamy, light, sweet and nutty. I’ve made it several times with no spices and with the addition of Gruyere-covered croutons and called it dinner. This version slightly different with the addition of a few of my favorite spices: cumin, coriander and curry powder. They work so well with the sweet butternut squash. For some fun added texture, I topped the soup off with a few toasted butternut squash seeds and crispy fried sage leaves. Another thing I love about this soup is that it can easily be vegan by simply leaving out the heavy cream–it’ll still be creamy and delicious without it.
Curry Sage Butternut Squash Soup
- Olive oil
- 1 (2-pound) butternut squash, cut in half with seeds scooped out and reserved
- Ground cumin
- Ground coriander
- 9-10 whole fresh sage leaves
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 teaspoon Madras-style curry powder
- 2-3 fresh sage leaves, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 cups veggie stock
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, plus more for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. Rub the butternut squash with olive oil and place it face side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast the butternut squash for 30-35 minutes, until it's tender with a fork. Remove and set aside until it's cool enough to handle.
- Meanwhile, let's make the garnish. Rinse out the seeds, discarding any pulp. Sprinkle the seeds with a pinch of cumin, pinch of ground coriander and a pinch of salt. In a small skillet, add a teaspoon of olive oil. When hot, add the seeds, toasting them on both sides, about 2-3 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- To the same skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil until hot. Add sage leaves and fry until the leaves are crispy and the edges are lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- To a stock pot, placed over medium heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the minced shallot and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the spices: 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander, Madras-style curry powder, minced sage leaves and minced garlic clove. Cook until the spices and garlic are fragrant, about 1 minute. Scoop out the butternut squash flesh and add it to the pot, along with the veggie stock. Cover the pot, turn the heat to medium low and simmer for 10-12 minutes. In batches, carefully transfer the soup to a blender and pulse until very smooth. Transfer the soup back to the pot and salt to taste. I added about 3/4 teaspoon. Stir in the heavy cream and heat until warm. Divide the soup between bowls and garnish with butternut squash seeds and fried sage leaves.
Yield: 4 servings
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.