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Spice it up with Curried Squash Soup!

The Downtown Marquette Farmers Market held their annual winter squash tasting recently lead by Sarah Monte of the Marquette Food Co-op. Our UP Local Food Coordinator, Alex Palzewicz, got a crash course in the plethora of winter squash available in the region. This month’s recipe comes from Sarah herself, and is a great way to warm up as weather goes cold. 

Curried Squash Soup

Serves 6

½ yellow onion
1 ½” piece of fresh ginger
3-4 cloves, garlic
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1 dried red chili
½ tsp black or yellow mustard seed
pinch of ground clove
pinch of garam masala
safflower or grapeseed oil
roughly 2 lbs of butternut squash
1 cup red lentils
4 cups veggie or chicken stock 

Place whole squash into the oven at about 350 degrees. Cook just until the skin is soft – tines of a fork should just barely go into the squash. Remove from the oven and peel, then cut into small 1” pieces. 

Thinly slice the onions, chop the ginger and mince garlic, then add into a food processor with just enough water to make a paste. It should be smooth. 

Heat just enough oil to cover the bottom of a large pot on medium high heat, and add the mustard seed. They will begin popping, put on a lid if too many are escaping. When they are almost done, add the cumin seed, coriander seed and dried red chili. In a few seconds, they will begin to change color, darkening and becoming fragrant. Quickly, add your onion/ginger/garlic paste. Cook until fragrant on medium heat, stirring occasionally. If the mixture seems to burn turn down the heat. 

Once the mixture smells ‘cooked,’ add the clove and garam masala, stir until well blended, then add the lentils, squash and stock. Simmer the mixture until the lentils are very soft and the squash is cooked through and tender. 

Let it cool and then use an immersion blender or food processor to blend until smooth. Enjoy your delicious squash soup!

Sarah Monte is the Outreach Director of the Marquette Food Co-op and point of contact for the Central Region of the Upper Peninsula Food Exchange. Learn more about the cooking classes they offer by visiting their website: 

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  in Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Recipes, Upper Peninsula