Butternut, Chard & Curry? It Works!

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Although fall has been creeping in for a couple of weeks now, we’re just starting to hit soup season here in upstate NY.  Temperatures are beginning to fall into the seasonal (read: really stinkin’ cold) range, meaning that I need to wear socks pretty much all of the time and have started to crave dinners that are both hearty and warm.

butternut lenti chard soup pot
For that, Indian food really fits the bill.  Ginger, garam masala, curry powder, and all the other spices that traditionally show up in things like curry are warming in and of themselves, so it makes sense that they’d be extra warming when used in soup.  Of course, that’s one of those things I never would have thought of myself.  1,000 Vegan Recipes thought of it for me, and I found the recipe while searching for a way to use up the bottom part of a butternut squash.

butternut curry soup closeup
This is really more like a thick chili or stew than soup, which is perfectly all right.  Each ingredient has a warming or filling component that makes for a very comforting finished dish.  In addition to the spices you’d expect to find in Indian food, there are chunks of butternut squash, red lentils, and, of all things, Swiss chard.  We didn’t get any fresh chard out of the garden this year, but our freezer almost always has some in it from years past.  I was able to use a bit of the frozen stuff in the soup by letting it thaw at room temperature first, then chopping it and adding it near the end of cooking time.

butternut curry soup with roti

Roti was a natural accompaniment.  30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of the East has a recipe that I’ve been trying to get right for a while, and I think I managed it this time.  You’d think something with three ingredients would be easy to master, but getting the right consistency and moisture content for roti is deceptively difficult.  The past couple of times I made it, I either rolled it too thin and it dried out, or I didn’t put enough water in the dough to begin with.  This batch was closer to the flavor and texture of what I’ve gotten at Indian restaurants, and it tasted really good with the soup.  Besides, you need something to catch those last drops at the bottom of the bowl, right? The whole meal was an interesting departure from “normal” veggie soups, and it’ll be great to make again when winter rolls around and I need some serious warming up.

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About the Author:

Sam has been eating a plant-based diet since summer of 2009 and has spent the subsequent years experimenting with all manner of plant-based food. She holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and is a graduate of the Bauman College Nutrition Consultant Program. She is a former member of Toastmasters International and was awarded a Competent Communicator designation for public speaking. When she's not blogging or cooking, Sam likes to read and study the Bible, play silly card games and knit socks.
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  1. Helen  October 3, 2011

    Oooh, this looks fantastic! Never would have thought to combine these ingredients in a curry, but I see how the flavors (some of my absolute favorites) would combine well. Yum!

    • Sam  October 3, 2011

      I wouldn’t have thought to add the chard, myself! It was really good, though.

  2. Clare  October 3, 2011

    I think I might just put chard in my next curry!

  3. Emily  October 3, 2011

    With the weather finally becoming fall-like in Sacramento, I’m jonesing for some curry; this would fit the bill perfectly.

    Thanks for the recipe and Happy Mofo’ing!

    • Sam  October 3, 2011

      Curry is GREAT fall food!

amazing salad bowl with ripple carrots
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