Sue Monk Kidd & Curried Squash Soup

The program I’m looking forward to today on OWN’s SuperSoulSunday features Oprah in conversation with Book Club Author Sue Monk Kidd, whose work The Secret Life of Bees is one of the most loved books of this generation. The story takes place in fictional Tiburon South Carolina, an ‘every town’ of South Carolina in the 1960’s, which carries a deeper resonance  as much of my life is in South Carolina.

Sue Monk Kidd will be discussing ‘The Soul of A Writer‘ – ooooh, now this will be good! What compels, propels, impels a writer is a conversation I am always willing to jump into. It is the conversation that all creative types know. Artists recognize there is something deep inside that goes beyond yearning to be heard. It demands it. Could this be our Soul? Perhaps it is no coincidence that as today is Easter Sunday which is of spiritual significance for some, we talk about the Soul as that place that holds our voice.  I’m not exactly sure about this, but I do know that a thought-full conversation between Oprah and Sue Monk Kidd will be the warm and wonderful counterpoint to the creation of today’s soup.

This inaugural Soup for SuperSoulSunday offering is all about the mingling of voices: a small town in South Carolina USA, a city in Ontario Canada; the 1960s and the 2010s; Oprah’s, Sue Monk Kidd’s and mine (in the solitude of my kitchen, yelling an occasional ‘yes!’ at the screen); plus some squash, curry, ginger, coconut and the ever present secret ingredient, LOVE. Yes indeed, Love is found in each of these distinct flavourful voices. I’m planning on lapping up a big bowl! Bring your own voice to the conversation.

Watch SuperSoulSunday on the OWN Network or catch up on episodes through Oprah’s website: http://www.oprah.com/app/super-soul-sunday.html

Curried Squash with Coconut Milk Soup 

(this recipe is a guide really, feel the love, sigh….)

Ingredients

1 acorn squash (or your favourite type of squash)

curry powder (to taste)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (as much as you think you will need but likely no more than 1/4 cup)

Butter (optional)

powdered ginger

salt & pepper

vegetable broth

coconut milk ( light or regular flavoured or sweetened – I have never used sweetened but that is just my taste)

sour cream or chives or sprinkle of ginger as a garnish if you are a fancy-pants!

For this recipe I prefer the powdered curry and ginger as the roasting and low heating bring a smoother, more mellow taste as opposed to hot or sharp. You can use fresh if you prefer.

1. Pre-heat oven to 325.

2. Cut the acorn squash into 4 pieces and scrape out the seeds, leaving the smooth orange pulp.

3. Pierce holes in the raw pulp with a fork or knife, splash some olive oil (or you can use butter here) on each piece, then sprinkle generously with the curry powder – typically for my taste about 2 tablespoons.

4. Put into the oven for 45 minutes. Then, pour yourself a mug of coffee, chai tea, lemon water or wine and turn on ‘The Soul of a Writer‘.

5. When the squash is soft, the curry smell has settled over the kitchen (love this!), remove from the oven and let cool.

6. Heat a pot on the stove on medium.

7. Add a splash of olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot, sprinkle a bit more curry and add ginger, to taste. Typically I add a 1 – 2 teaspoons of powdered ginger and just 1 more teaspoon of curry. Let it heat for no more than 5 minutes.

8. Scrape the roasted squash flesh off of the skin and into the pot. Stir it up with the mellowed spices and olive oil.

9. Add vegetable broth to cover the squash and stir. Let it come to a boil, and stir on occasion.

10. Stir again, and taste. If you need salt or pepper, now is the time to add it. If the curry seems strong don’t fret, because the coconut milk will soften the taste.

11. Once it has boiled, turn it to low and while stirring add the coconut milk. Sometimes the coconut milk separates. so I like to give the can a good shake before I open it.

12. Let it heat through and then EAT!

Dependent upon how long you have roasted the squash and the type of squash you have chosen, it will further break apart in the boiling making a smooth texture. I like the occasional lump of squash! If you prefer a silky smooth restaurant worthy soup, then you can pour it in the blender (cool it first!) or use a hand emulsifier right into the pot.

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Enjoy your Soup for this SuperSoulSunday!

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