Delicious and oh-so-healthy, this is my new favorite fall soup. I developed this for a private cooking client who wants to eat healthier, practice knife skills and learn techniques to develop flavors without meat. It can be a meal in itself or a nice starter (Thanksgiving perhaps?) served in small bowls or coffee cups.
Curried Kuri Bisque
While “bisque” is traditionally seafood stock and cream-based, this warming, comforting soup is vegetarian (no meat) and vegan (replacing milk with soy, no animal products). But let's not talk about what it doesn't have - let's talk about what it DOES have. Taking advantage of early fall vegetables, this bisque is loaded with vitamins and minerals (Vitamin E, Alpha Tocopherol, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus).
- With the addition of sweet potato, carrot and dal, it’s also a great source of dietary fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
- By adding masoor dal, a salmon colored lentil that breaks down in cooking, you increase fiber and iron as well as boosting the protein of the soup, while adding no saturated fat.
- With the deep roasted flavors and the spices, it also has lots of flavor.
- 1 small kuri squash/pumpkin (can substitute butternut squash)
- 3/4 C canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
- 2 carrots
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1/2 C masoor dal
- 1 TBSP minced fresh young ginger
- 1/2 c minced onion
- oil (neutral such as canola)
- Chinese Five Spice powder (optional)
- soy butter (optional)
- 1/2 tsp tomato paste
- Veggie stock or water
- 1/2 apple, peeled and diced
- 1/2 C soy milk
Preheat oven to 375.
- Cut kuri squash in half, scoop out seeds (reserve for roasting)
- Scrub carrots, chop in 1/2 chunks
- Peel sweet potato, cube
- Drizzle scant oil on carrots, sweet potato. Rub a tiny bit of Earth Balance soy butter (or oil) in squash. Sprinkle with Chinese Five Spice.
- Roast veggies in 375 oven. Roasting helps develop an additional flavor in this vegan soup. Veggies could also be steamed or microwaved, but roasting helps deepen flavors.
- Sweat onion in a drizzle of neutral oil till just starting to brown, add ginger, pinch of salt, then add 1/2 tsp tomato paste, pumpkin puree.
- Deglaze with 3 C veggie stock (veg stock and water) add dal, diced apple.
- When roasted veg are mostly done, (piercing the larger chunks of carrot w/ knife meets little resistance) add to soup.
- Blend spices and soy milk with a fork then add to soup.
- Simmer on low heat, stirring frequently to ensure it doesn't burn. Add water as necessary to reach desired consistency. When vegetables and dal are all tender, use stick blender to purée soup.
Spices that love pumpkin:
If curry and cumin are not your cup of tea, you could omit them, adding only cardamom, coriander and cinnamon. I might add more onion and ginger to give the soup some kick in that case.
- 3/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp curry
- 1/4 tsp cumin- coriander blend
- 1/4 tsp cumin - optional, to taste
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 C soy milk
Option garnish: while the oven is still hot, toss the seeds of the squash with salt and Five Spice, toast them till just golden and crisp. If you can resist nibbling them, you should have enough to garnish a few bowls.
If you love soups like I do, you'll enjoy my Taking Stock series which covers all sorts of soups and stews, like Taking Stock: Vegan Minestrone with Umami to Spare.