Updated: Nov 27, 2020
I got this recipe from my friend Laura who lives in a log cabin in Talkeetna Alaska (yes really) with her husband, two kids and dog. Incidentally, they also own the camper park and the zip-line tours; Mark and Laura are definitely the people to know if you are planning an Alaskan getaway. Not only is Laura a wildly successful wilderness entrepreneur, but she is an amazing and health-conscious mom. There is not much in the way of fast food or carry out up in Talkeetna, so nearly all meals are cooked at home.
This delicious soup is a standby for their family because it is quick, hearty, and was a way to sneak vegetables into the family diet. Produce is thin on the ground during the long Alaska winters. Squash and yams are easy to keep for long periods, so they were easy to keep around for long snow-in's. It is gluten free, dairy free, and paleo. It can also be adapted for Instant Pot. Every time I make this and take it to work I hear "Oh My God, that smells amazing!" It is hard to go wrong with curry.
1 lb orange colored winter squash (acorn, butternut, or similar), cubed
1 medium yam or sweet potato, cubed
2-4 cloves garlic
1.5 Tbs fresh minced ginger (save 1 tsp for late addition to soup)
1 tsp coriander seed/ powder
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp paprika
Salt & pepper (to taste – probably 1-2 tsp salt)
1 big box chicken or veggie stock (chicken or veggie) (not the tiny 8 oz boxes, but the normal almond milk sized ones)
1 can coconut milk
Chicken: I recommend buying pre-roasted chicken to add to the bowl just before serving. This gives you the option of blending into a smooth creamy soup . You could also cut up raw chicken and cook it in the stock & spices before adding the squash/yams. But then you would have to fish it out before blending the soup, or leave the soup as a chunky stew.
Fresh spinach leaves: also added to the bowl just before serving.
You can purchased fresh cubed squash in some groceries, and you can often find frozen cubed squash and yams as well – these both make this soup prep MUCH faster.
1/2 tart apple, chopped - adds creaminess to blended soups, and another layer of flavor
Bonus curry flavors: any of these will enhance the curry-ness of the soup
1.5 tsp curry powder
1.5 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Sauté onion till beginning to soften (can caramelize for deeper flavor)
Add ½ the ginger, garlic, sauté for about 30 seconds until fragrant
Then add the spices, sauté for another 30 seconds until these become fragrant
Add stock, yams & squash (plus enough water to cover if necessary).
Simmer until squash / yams are soft
Remove from heat
Add coconut milk, salt & pepper to taste, add remaining ginger and 1/4 tsp or so more of cumin & coriander.
Using blender, hand masher, food processor or immersion blender (I recommend the immersion blender) blend into smooth consistency.
Add big handful of pre-roasted and shredded chicken and spinach to bowls, then ladle soup over and serve.
Modify for Instant Pot by using the sauté and soup / pressure cook settings. Pressure cook on high for 10-15 minutes.