I have had such the hankering for Indian food lately. I mean, I love Indian food but usually I'm satisfied with having it once or twice a month. Recently though, I want "masala-this" and "curry-that" all the time.
This is why, when looking at the stock pile of carrots in the fridge and the acorn squash sitting on my counter (both courtesy of my CSA), curry was the first thing that came to mind.
When thinking about what bread to serve it with (all good soup needs good bread), a crusty loaf of sourdough just didn't seem to work. What was I craving? Well, naan of course! And not just any naan- mini naan "croutons" floating around on the top of my curry soup was the only thing that would satisfy me at that point.
This led to a day of turning my kitchen into an Indian heaven. With avocado naan dough rising in a bowl on the counter and garam masala-spiced carrots and squash roasting in the oven, you can bet this girl couldn't have been more excited.
Once the adorable little mini naan croutons were out of the oven, my soup pureed, and my house smelling like spicy curry and garam masala, we were ready to sit down to dinner. It was the perfect, comforting bowl of soup, which can't be beat on an autumn evening, but it also satisfied my Indian food cravings in every way. Every bite of this curried acorn carrot soup was like a scoop of complexly-spiced, vegetable curry on a piece of moist, fluffy naan. I was astounded by all of the intricate layers of flavors. I've made a lot of carrot squash soups in my time, but this one absolutely takes the cake. It was also a big batch of soup, meaning there was enough leftover to have for lunch for the following three days as well, which was perfect because this craving doesn't seem to be leaving anytime soon.
- 8-10 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 large acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 2 teaspoons garam masala, separated
- olive oil spray
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon tumeric
- a few dashes of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Spread the carrots out on one baking sheet and place the acorn squash halves on the other sheet, cut sides up. Spray the carrots and the squash with olive oil. Sprinkle garam masala evenly over both the carrots and the squash. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss the carrots to fully coat each piece. Bake at 450 for 30-40 minutes, until squash is soft enough to easily be pierced by a fork. Toss the carrots halfway through the baking time in order to let them cook evenly. Remove from oven and let cool until the squash is cool enough to touch.
- Once the vegetables are out of the oven, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the fennel seeds and cumin seeds and fry in the oil for about 3-4 minutes, until very fragrant. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute. Add the onion and sauté until translucent.
- Once the onion is translucent, scoop the flesh of the acorn squash out of it’s skin and place in the pot with the roasted carrots. Add spices and thoroughly mix together. Add the vegetable broth, water, and liquid smoke, cover and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, crack the lid a bit and lower the heat to a simmer. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Once it’s had time to simmer for awhile, remove the soup from heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Alternatively, you can blend the soup in a blender, in batches, being careful of trapping too much heat inside the blender (or you will have an explosion to clean up). Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with mini naan croutons (recipe below) and Enjoy!
- Use this recipe for Avocado Naan, but rather than splitting the dough into large pieces to make regular sized naan, set aside about a third of the dough. Use your fingers to pinch pieces of the dough into small balls and flatten them between your fingers. Follow the rest of the regular cooking instructions with these mini naan, just keeping an eye on them in the oven (the method I used) because they may require less cooking time than the regular sized naan. Follow this recipe to make gluten-free naan.
Photography by Chris Miller
Gabby @ the veggie nook
What a cool idea Kristy! I love the idea of the croutons- I bet they are unbelievable with the spicy and sweet of the soup.
Have a lovely weekend my dear!
What a genius idea!! Mini food is always more fun, and those little na'an croutons are too sweet! I would very happily tuck into that bowl of soup.
By the way, I like your new profile picture on the side of your blog! Great shot and lighting! You look beautiful as always! 🙂
Yeah, mini food is definitely one of my favorite cuisines. 😉 Several years ago, my friend and I thought about starting a restaurant that only served mini foods, but all of the chairs and tables and plates and everything would be very oversized so that you felt like a little tiny person eating little tiny food. Genius, I tell ya!
Thank you- so nice of you to notice. Chris did a great job but I was having what would be the opposite of my favorite hair day. I will likely redo them soon, but I wanted something a little more professional looking for the time being. 🙂
Now I seriously have to get off my arse and make those avocado naan breads/croutons! And the soup totally hits the wintery spot right now. Snowing as I write!
Oh, it must be so pretty there! I love watching the snow, and with a big bowl of soup- it sounds heavenly! 🙂
i cant get over how cute those baby naan croutons look. i love all things mini.. and these are sooo sooo cutee and soo getting made!:) this is a great idea to serve with indian food too. i know not everyone is fond of using their hands to bread the bread and eat it.. so serve mini naan bites! lets open a mini indian bites neighborhood truck!:) we just got a new vegan sandwich truck in seattle!!
I love mini things too- I think you're onto something with the truck idea! You should go for it! 🙂
Looks so perfect Kristy, and those croutons are totally adorable! I am with you and think that all things Indian seem just perfect right now :)!
Thank you, Shira! It must be something in the air... 🙂
Bex @ Vegan Sparkles
Ohhh that looks and sounds SO satisfying, Kristy! We are such kindred spirits - I always go through phases where I only want Mexican, then I only want Indian... Go with it, baby! 🙂
Thanks, Bex. I totally feel you on the Mexican food too. 🙂
That looks so creamy, rich and satisfying! I've gotta get to the store and get some avocado to make that naan!
Thanks, Somer! You are going to LOOOOVE the naan! xo
Are you kidding me!? Naan croutons! I LOVE it!
Chef Amber Shea
This looks and sounds incredible! Your naan crouton idea is priceless. Gorgeous!
Thank you so much, Amber! That is such a huge compliment! 🙂
This is my kind of soup! Those mini naans are brilliant, I would have a hard time not eating the whole batch before the soup was ready!
Thank you, Heather. Trust me- not eating all the naan before they got on the soup was the hardest part about this recipe. 🙂
Um. Wow. YUM. I was roasting some butternut squash for tonight's butternut squash and couscous meal and I figured it would be a great idea to roast an acorn squash, carrots, and grape tomatoes for this soup at the same time. I let the soup simmer while we had dinner and puréed it with our immersion blender when we were done eating. I was so excited to try it that I burnt my tongue! Worth it. The garam masala is a great touch. I also threw in half a Granny Smith apple for some tartness. My parents (I'm 18) are going to love this when we have it tomorrow evening!