Healthy Vegan Butternut Squash Curry
While winter itself is not my favorite season (more like least favorite!), soup season is my favorite. We are a big soup-making family for so many reasons such as they’re generally easy to make, they’re comforting on a cold dreary day, they can be made healthy and filling, and we have leftovers for days. As someone who’s quite a homebody and works from home, that last reason is my favorite. I don’t have to think about what’s for lunch. In fact, as I type this post, I am sitting here with my leftover bowl of healthy vegan butternut squash curry, multitasking and trying not to drip on my keyboard. Cooking soup at our house just got so much better this season now that we’ve got brand new beautiful cookware from Cuisinart. When we began to envision our new kitchen with open shelving, I knew I wanted practicality, functionality, and style all in one. I wanted to be able to put things on the shelves that we use every day, including some of our commonly used cookware. When I saw Cuisinart’s beautiful and large white stock pots, I knew they’d look amazing in our kitchen, and more importantly, they’d get regular use in our house with all of the soup making and canning that we like to do. Thank you so much to Cuisinart for providing me with cookware for this post. I was not otherwise compensated. All opinions are my own.
If you look at my shelving in the photo above, you can see my large Cuisinart 12 Quart Stockpot as well as my 6 quart stock pot which is part of an entire cookware set. (Our particular set is discontinued, but it’s very much like this 11 Piece Cuisinart Nonstick Cookware set.) Additionally, we received this Cuisinart 16 Quart Stock Pot which is large and in charge, and perfect for canning applesauce, which I love to do, and for our traditional Christmas Eve lobster dinner. (Have you ever bought lobsters, returned home with them, and wondered what the heck you were even going to cook them in? This stock pot is the answer.) Since we don’t use it weekly like we do the 12 quart, it’s perfect stored in our deep drawers. However, the 12 quart and 6 quart stock pots sit openly on our shelving and are used regularly, especially this time of year. I just love the shape of the 12 quart pot seen below. The wide bottom allows it to cook a little faster as the heat is able to enter the pot through a larger surface area, and the curved top helps prevent any spattering out of the pot.
As I mentioned, it’s soup season for our family and we love experimenting with different recipes. I became a pescatarian last summer, so we especially focus on vegetarian soups or vegan soups. Plant based diets are amazing for our bodies as well as the environment, and I want to do my best to leave the world no worse off than when I arrived here 41 years ago. With the dawning of a new year and decade, a lot of people are thinking about how they can live better and cleaner lives, as well as be the healthiest version of themselves. I’ve been really working on all of those things over the past few months, and I love sharing the small tips, changes, and recipes that have helped me because even if it helps only one person in my audience, it’s a small ripple of change. I’ve actually got Chris (who is an avid meat lover!) enjoying several vegan soups we have made this season as black bean quinoa chili, butternut squash soup, sweet potato and black bean chili, and this one I am about to share with you, healthy vegan butternut squash soup.
Before I even start cooking any recipe, I like to gather all of my supplies on the counter and have them ready to go. As I cook and use each item, if I don’t need it any more, I put it away. I’m not the most organized person, but this process works best for me in staying on task and organized in the kitchen.
To begin, I like to prepare all of my vegetables before I even cook. For this recipe I peeled and chopped 1 medium butternut squash, then set it aside in a bowl. I cut my chunks rather large, but you can cut to your preference. To cut all of my vegetables, I used my Cuisinart Normandy 19 Piece Cutlery Block Set, which has been absolutely life changing for us. These knives are SO incredibly nice and such a great value.
I also diced a medium yellow onion, minced 2 large cloves of garlic, and peeled and sliced 3 carrots. I set all of these aside in a bowl together. Additionally, if you use fresh ginger, you will want to have that grated and prepared and set aside separately as well. I used the tube of ginger, so I just squeezed out the amount needed.
Now, if you didn’t know, Chris actually works in the restaurant business and has been trained on how to properly cut and prepare vegetables. That’s not a joke. I am an untrained amateur who doesn’t care as much about technique. While Chris took the above photos for me, I could just see him holding back the running commentary that was spinning in his mind. The last thing that needed to be cut was the 2 broccoli florets, so I looked at Chris and told him to have at it.
Can you just see the expression on his face? That is the look of a man who is thinking, “I knew I could do it better.”
I knew he could do it better, too, but I am only cooking for us, and not a restaurant, so I am A-OK with my amateur style.
Anyhow, after Chris showed off his impressive knife skills, it was time to start cooking!
First, I melted coconut oil in the Cuisinart 12 Quart Stockpot over medium high heat. Once the oil was melted, I added in the sliced carrots, chopped onions, and minced garlic cloves. I allowed those to cook over medium high heat for a couple minutes, then added in the ginger. I continued to let it cook a few more minutes until the onions were translucent.Next I measured out the rest of the spices and added them to the pot, stirring to coat the vegetables.
Next came the butternut squash, followed immediately by the vegetable broth and coconut milk. Note, if you like your soup creamier, you can add two cans of coconut milk. I used one to cut down on the amount of fat and calories.
After adding in the liquids, I brought the soup to a boil and then reduced the heat to a simmer. Immediately after reducing the heat, I added in the chopped broccoli florets, and kept the soup at a simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables were softened and the squash could easily be pierced with a fork.
While the soup was simmering, I cooked my cauliflower rice by placing it in a microwave safe bowl and cooking it on high in the microwave for 5 minutes. Some people prefer to cook it stove top, but I love the “steamed rice” quality it gets in the microwave.
Finally, it was ready to serve! I placed some of the cauliflower rice in a bowl, and then ladled the soup right on top.
Finally, it was time to enjoy it!
It was healthy, satisfying, delicious, and good for me and the environment! I will say, next time I would chop my butternut squash a little bit smaller. Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Healthy Vegan Butternut Squash Soup
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped finely
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how hot you want it)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp yellow curry
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, and chopped in chunks to your size liking
4 c vegetable broth
1 can full fat coconut milk
2 broccoli florets, chopped
1 bag riced cauliflower, or one head riced in a food processor
- Prepare all vegetables, by chopping and dicing according to above ingredient list. Set the squash and broccoli aside each on their own. Set the carrots, onion, and garlic in a prep bowl together. Set aside the grated fresh ginger in a mini prep bowl.
- In large stock pot, melt coconut oil over medium high heat.
- Place carrots, onions, and garlic in pot and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add ginger and continue to cook until onions are translucent.
- Add red pepper flakes, chili powder, coriander, sea salt, curry and stir to coat vegetables.
- Toss butternut squash into pot, stir, and immediately add in the vegetable broth and coconut milk.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and add in broccoli.
- Simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are softened and squash can be easily pierced with a fork.
- While soup is simmering, cook cauliflower rice to your preference. The cauliflower shown here was microwaved for 5 minutes.
- To serve, place 1/2 c. cauliflower rice in individual bowl, and ladle soup over. Enjoy!