We had our wedding in Italy, shared with close family and our dearest friends, in a small town in the northeast, on a hot summer day, full of love, laughter, and joy. After close to three months of anticipation, I received an email from our wedding photographer while riding the bus home. The photos had finally arrived, or so she hoped, crossing her fingers they hadn’t been held up at US customs.
I got home and found a package, taped to an extreme, waiting behind the door. I doubt customs would have even wanted to bother with the hassle of cutting through all the layers of tape. I however, had the determination and motive after all.
I did not wait for my husband to share the moment of unraveling our long awaited bundle. I impatiently ripped through the tape and found a lovely, well insulated gift box, with our dvds, a jar of red sugar to remind us of the sweet moments, and a packet of curry mix, to add a little spice to our days when life tends to taste a bit bland.
After going through all the photos, I repacked everything as it first was, to give my husband a fair chance of unraveling, minus the seventeen layers of tape.
The day after, I transferred the packet of curry to a jar to stash away in my spice cabinet. But as my squash was roasting in the oven and its ambrosial aroma filled the air, I thought a pinch of curry would be a perfect addition to balance out the sweetness. Now, as a footnote, curry is not a spice, but a mixture, and quite complex mixture, of spices or dried herbs. This one just happened to smell perfect. And so my midweek dinner inspiration was born, and that pinch of curry was the star.
Curried Pumpkin and Mushroom Soup
1 acorn squash, or any squash or pumpkin of choice
8 oz mushrooms, halved then sliced
2 tsp curry
coconut oil, or any cooking oil
vegetable or chicken broth, heated
Roast your squash of choice in the oven. I’ll slice mine in half, wrap it in foil, and pop it in the oven whilst baking or such. You can do this anytime you have your oven running, stored in your fridge up to a couple days before making this soup. The day of, I’ll just scoop out the meat and blend it with a splash of stock using my hand immersion blender.
Take your onion and cut it in half. Slice the ends off and peel off it’s first layer. Then, slice each half lengthwise in two, then four. Next, slice it thinly in the opposite direction.
Add one tablespoon of coconut oil to your pot, over medium heat. Once liquidated, add the sliced onions and salt. You can use any oil of choice, even butter, but I like the combo with curry, and I’m hooked on the aroma of onions caramelizing away in coconut oil. They should create a scented candle of just that, coconut oil caramelizing onions.
Just as the onions are translucent and shiny, add the mushrooms, give it one good stir and try not to crowd them, to avoid releasing too much moisture.
Once your mushrooms are cooked to your liking, mix in a tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle in the flour and one teaspoon of curry. Stir one minute.
Slowly add heated stock as you continue to stir. Use a whisk if you like. Be sure the stock is heated, to avoid any lumps.
Mix in the squash puree, bring to a boil, then let simmer. Give it a taste, grate in a pinch of nutmeg, adjust seasoning, and add remaining curry or more, to your liking.