Winter is biting down hard a tad early this year. As I write, it's currently 22 degrees in Philadelphia, with a wind chill of 8. I just returned from a long run and my hair froze. On days like these, the best impetus for my finishing kick is thinking about a steamy bowl of curry soup to refuel.
This Mix and Match Curry is a recipe I make often, especially during the colder months. I love it for four reasons:
- It's easy to throw together.
- It's modular. You can use whatever veggies and plant protein you have on hand. Fresh is always best but you can also use frozen.
- it's versatile. You can enjoy it as is, stew-like, or thin it out with a bit of water or broth to make it into a soup. I sometimes eat it over spooned over noodles, like a sauce: think brown rice noodles, cellophane noodles or even plain old spaghetti. Or I serve it over a whole grain, like brown rice, farro, barley or millet.
- It's super nutritious and is, therefore, a runner-friendly food.
Enjoy! Stay warm.
Mix and Match Thai Curry (vegan, gluten-free)
- 1 butternut, acorn or kabocha squash, roasted (You can do this the day before, if you'd like)
- 1 T coconut or olive oil
- 1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
- 5-7 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- Up to 1 tsp red hot pepper flakes
- Salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup of your favorite Thai curry paste (eg, Massaman, Penang, yellow, red, green)
- 1 14-oz can of coconut milk (Light is fine, but full-fat tastes so much better)
- 4 cups flavorful vegetable broth (I love Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base. I buy it in bulk.)
- 4 cups cabbage, spinach, kale, or chard, shredded or roughly chopped
- 2 cups mixed, chopped vegetables (eg, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes, edamame, peppers)
- Plant protein of choice: 1 pound of extra-firm tofu, cubed (Dry-frying it takes extra time but is so worth it); 1 pound of tempeh, cubes, 2 cans of your favorite beans, rinsed and drained; 2 cups of soy curls, rehydrated
- 1/3 cup, fresh cilantro, chopped or 2T dried
- Splash of lime juice (optional)
Roast squash: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half, Remove seeds with an ice cream scoop. Place foil or parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray. Place squash face down on sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until soft. Let cool then peel and cube.
Heat oil over medium low in a Dutch oven. Add ginger, garlic, onion and red pepper flakes. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add salt if it's browning too quickly to draw out some water. Add the curry paste, and stir well. Let it cook for about a minute.
Stir in the coconut milk, then add the broth. Add the veggies, including the cubed squash and the plant protein, and bring to a boil. Cover. Lower heat and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until veggies are softish. Stir in cilantro.
Adjust seasonings and serve as you like:
- As is – as a stew
- Thinned with more broth: as a soup
- Over noodles
- Over a whole grain (eg, quinoa, brown rice, farro, millet, barley)