Ready or not, fall is here. The leaves are displaying their spectacular yellow, orange and red splendor. I love the fall colors in New England and would have loved it even more if it was not followed by winter:)
But for now, I am enjoying the cool, crisp fall days, which make me think of soups laced with ginger. Growing up in India, the onset of cooler temperatures made us think of a hot cup of tea with fresh ginger in it! And of course fried pakoras to go with the tea:)
But I am trying to be ‘good’ this week and so decided to stay away from pakoras and think of the steaming bowl of curried butternut squash soup laced with ginger. I top it with my home made Masala crackers. Oh boy! These crackers are super addictive and successful in making me soon forget about the deep fried pakoras !
Ginger, with its multiple healing qualities,is known as nature’s medicine chest in Ayurveda. So I use it in many of my recipes and I like the little kick it gives this soup. The addition of the masoor dal(split red lentils) in this soup not only adds protein but also gives the soup a nice thick consistency without having to add cream. The avocado topping and a touch of the coconut milk make the soup linger a little longer on your taste buds. So you get what I am going for here-healthier food options without having to compromise at all on taste. A diehard foodie like me cannot compromise on the taste of any food:)
For the soup-
- 1/2 cup masoor dal, washed and drained
- 2 cups frozen butternut squash, defrosted (the chopped, frozen is easier to use, so why not, right?)
- 1/4 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon curry powder, such as the MDH brand Arhar dal masala
- 3 cups water,low sodium broth such as Trader Joes vegetable or chicken broth
- sea salt to taste
- 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk powder mixed with 1/2 cup water to make coconut milk
- juice of ½ a lime
- Avocado and Masala crackers for topping! (Recipe for Masala crackers below)
To make the soup-
- In a 2 quart pan, simply combine the masoor dal, butternut squash, ginger, curry powder, water or broth and the sea salt and cook it over medium high heat for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the masoor dal is cooked soft. The masoor (red lentil) dal turns yellow when cooked and will be soft with cracked edges on the little individual dal.
- Remove from heat and blend using an immersion blender or a regular blender. Be very careful as the mixture is hot. Or let the mixture cool and then proceed. I like the silky smoothness of the blended soup so I use the electric blender. It will taste absolutely fine blended with a hand held whip.
- Heat on low until the mixture comes to a gentle simmer, add the brown sugar, stir well and add the coconut milk and lime juice.
- Stir it in and remove from heat and serve the Curried Butternut Soup topped with the avocado and Masala crackers!
- I also make a Carrot Ginger Soup using fresh carrots instead of the butternut squash with the same recipe.
- This soup also tastes yummy with a dollop of plain non fat Greek yogurt such as the Kirkland brand Greek yogurt at Costco, for topping.
For the Masala crackers-
In a zip lock bag add
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon of curry powder such as the MDH Arhar dal masala in the recipe above
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon aamchur powder(dried mango powder)
- a pinch of sea salt
Combine all together and add 1 cup of oyster crackers, such as Nabisco Premium crackers. Clos ethe bag and shake it to coat the crackers with the mixture. Set it aside, preferably overnight. They store well at room temperature- If you are like me,you may not have any left to store 🙂
Happy Weekend everyone!