As we head back into the fall season of school, activities and routine I notice a significant shift in the type of nourishment my mind and body craves. One pot meals including cozy and warm soups and curries are definitely a week-night favourite. I introduced curry to my family several years ago when creating recipes for my cookbook This Kitchen is for Dancing, and they were so receptive to the beautiful aroma and unique taste. You can easily modify the intensity of the curry flavour by using a mild powder or paste and the spice by removing the chili’s all together. But you might be surprised with how much your kids actually enjoy the power that comes with a hearty bowl of curry.
This one is unique as I decided to use butternut squash (pumpkin would also be a beautiful fall option), as well as yellow curry paste rather than red and add in some veg like bell pepper and broccoli florets. The result is a gorgeous blend of flavours that I will be eating all fall! Serve with a side of rice or quinoa, or warmed up naan bread. I usually add spinach right at the end just to wilt and brighten it all up with a squeeze of lemon juice.
Remember the options are endless with curry- you can use chickpeas, lentils, white fish, shrimp, all veg etc. You can use this as a base recipe and modify as your tastebuds guide you.
1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil or avocado oil
1 medium shallot, minced
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 small red Thai chili pepper, stem and seeds removed, thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
3 tbsp yellow or red Thai curry paste
3 1/2 cups peeled and cubed pumpkin or butternut squash
2 14-oz cans light coconut milk – can sub full fat for a more creamy texture
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 generous pinch sea salt
1 tbsp coconut aminos – or sub for tamari
1 cup chopped broccoli
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup finely chopped spinach
2/3 cup roasted cashews, unsalted or lightly salted
01. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add coconut oil (or avocado oil), shallot, ginger, garlic and pepper. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
o2. Add the bell pepper and curry paste, and stir. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the pumpkin/butternut squash. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
03. Add coconut milk, coconut sugar, turmeric, sea salt, and the coconut aminos (or tamari), then stir. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
04. Once simmering, slightly reduce heat to low and cover. You want a simmer, not a boil; which should be around low to medium-low heat.
05. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to soften the pumpkin and infuse it with curry flavour.
06. At this time, taste and adjust the flavour of the broth as needed. I added more sea salt for saltiness and a bit more curry paste for a more intense curry flavour.
07. Once the broth is well seasoned and the pumpkin/squash is tender, add the broccoli, lemon juice, and roasted cashews. Cover and simmer for an additional 3 to 4 minutes over low to medium-low heat.
08. OPTIONAL: scoop out half the broth/sauce and half of the pumpkin (try to exclude the broccoli). In a high-speed blender, blend until creamy and smooth for a thicker, creamier curry. Return the contents to the pot and warm for a few minutes before serving.
09. Serve as is or over rice or quinoa. To elevate the dish, garnish with fresh basil or cilantro when serving. Enjoy!