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I can hardly wait for March. Spring will be a relief, but the new film, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, looks fantastic. Director John Madden engaged Tom WilkinsonMaggie SmithJudi DenchBill Nighy and Dev Patel to star in a comedy about British retirees who move to India to live out their golden years and find that their new home is a dilapidated hotel. I don’t know about you, but I dream about growing old gracefully in colourful, lively, soulful, fragrant, exotic India.

On that note, how about some curry flavour?

Healthy soup recipe

Curried Butternut Squash Soup 

  • 1 T pumpkin seed oil, or oil of your choice
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 T fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 T curry powder (or less, for less spicy soup)
  • 1 T mirin (Japanese rice wine)
  • 4 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
  • 6 c vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 c coconut milk (can use light, for fewer calories)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • coconut shavings, toasted for garnish

In a large soup pot, heat the oil, medium hot. Add onion, shallot, garlic, ginger and curry powder, cooking until aromatic, about 5 minutes. Add mirin, and cook down until reduced by half. Add stock and squash, bringing to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, until the squash is soft, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat, and purée until smooth.

Healthy Soup Recipe

A food mill was used to grind the vegetables into a velvety smooth consistency without being too thick. Return the soup to a pot, add coconut milk, heat, salt and pepper, then garnish with cilantro and coconut.

Healthy Soup
Final notes:
  • To support those who don’t have the option of retiring in India, give generously to Maimonides and to yourself, by purchasing their “Cooking with Love” fundraiser cookbook, from which this recipe was plucked, with permission of course.
  • Thank you to Liz Joffe for encouraging me to get a food mill. It adds a refreshingly new possibility to soup texture.
  • This soup tasted even better the second day after all the flavours had more time to marry.
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