My Moosewood Cookbook, purchased back in 1977, was one of the first books from which I learned to cook. Over time, its yellowing pages have introduced us to some delightful recipes and, of course, vegetarian cooking. The Moosewood Collective is still going strong and Mollie Katzen, one of the originals links to a 40th Anniversary Edition on her website.
We like to plan a soup meal about once a week, and this Curried Squash and Mushroom Soup, seemed like a perfect way to ease into the New England shoulder season – that patch of time between late summer and early fall.
I have to admit to a heavy hand when it came to the cayenne pepper – I may have tripled it. Still, the soup was delicious as well as warming on a not-so-warm September evening.
Curried Squash and Mushroom Soup
From Katzen, M. Moosewood Cookbook. (1977). Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, p. 14.
- 2 medium acorn or butternut squash
- 2 1/2 cups water or stock
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 medium clove garlic, crushed
- 6 oz. mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- a few dashes of cayenne
- Optional: fresh lemon juice
- Chopped toasted almonds & yogurt for finishing
- Split the squash lengthwise and bake face-down in a 375 degree oven on an oiled tray, 30 minutes or until soft. Cool and scoop out the insides. You need about 3 cups-worth. Put it in a blender with the water or stock and puree until smooth. Combine in a kettle or saucepan with the orange juice.
- Heat the butter in a skillet and add the garlic, onion, salt and spices. Sauté until the onion is very soft. You may need to add a little water if it sticks. Add mushrooms, cover and cook 10 minutes.
- Add the sauté to the squash, scraping the skillet well to salvage all the good stuff. Heat everything together very gently. Taste to correct seasonings. You may want more cayenne (I did) or salt. And, since this is a fairly sweet soup, you may want to spruce it up with some fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
- Serve, topped with yogurt and chopped toasted almonds.
Note: This soup, unlike others in the Moosewood Cookbook, need not be served immediately. It can simmer a while and the flavors will mature.