What’s in season: BUTTERNUT SQUASH!

Believe it or not, a few farmers’ market are still open this time of year. (Dupont Circle and Takoma Park markets are open on Sundays year-round, and my own Columbia Heights market runs every Saturday through mid-December.) While milk, eggs, and meats stay pretty constant at farmers’ markets throughout the year, you’ll notice a shift from the summer and early fall produce offerings to heartier things like potatoes and turnips and dark leafy greens. And, of course, winter squashes.

For those looking for a simple, flavorful, healthy soup as the weather begins to turn cooler, try this one on for size. (You can even make it for friends and family of the vegan persuasion, but even my carnivorous friends slurp it down. And if you’re not fortunate enough to be able to make it to your local farmers’ market, most grocery stores should have plenty of butternut squash around, too.) Right, right, on to the recipe….

Curried Butternut Squash Soup
(adapted from the Cafe Flora Cookbook)

Dry roast 1 tsp cumin seeds + 1/2 tsp coriander seeds until fragrant. Grind with a mortar and pestle, then add in 1-2 tsp curry powder. Set aside.

In a large pot, saute 1 onion (diced) in olive oil for a few minutes before adding a head of garlic (peeled and chopped) and a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled and minced).

Add 3-4 cups of fresh butternut squash (peeled, seeds removed, and cut into chunks) and stir in the spice mixture to coat the squash. Add 4-6 cups of vegetable broth and a bay leaf, then simmer until squash is soft (about 20 minutes).

Fish out the bay leaves, puree soup, then stir in 1 can of coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Yep, it’s that easy. Feel free to fiddle with proportions — I do.

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