Vegetable Curry Soup

Story by Natalie
Vegetable Curry Soup
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Call me crazy, but I love grocery shopping. This is very fortunate for me, because when you combine the needs of my family with the requirements of my profession, I can easily find myself at the market 5-6 times per week. It wasn’t until a recent run to the grocery store with my sister that I realized what a chore some people find shopping for food. What I treat as a leisurely afternoon at the spa, she views as a trip to the dentist...a necessary evil.  


Think rich and creamy coconut broth, loaded with hearty vegetables...

I don’t know why, but there is just something about my grocery shopping routine that I find so enjoyable. Here’s a breakdown of how it goes: My first stop is in the produce section where I get inspired by whatever their seasonal offerings are. I’ll pick up anything that is unusual and full of texture, move it around in my hand and imagine what I can make out of it. Then I load up on the essentials (bananas, avocados, apples) and move on to say hi to my butcher to see what’s on sale. If my kids are with me we make a quick stop at the bakery to snag a free cookie and a warm baguette and then hit the center aisles for any pantry necessities. My final and favorite stop is the deli, where I sample all the soups (our local family-owned market makes the most amazing homemade soups). And it’s while doing just that on a recent shopping trip that I found the inspiration for this vegetable curry soup.

Desperate not to have to pay $10 per pint for that delicious soup, I made an attempt at recreating it in my own kitchen. The results? Delicious and soooo easy. I’ve always been a fan of curries, but usually in the form of Thai curry paste. However, this soup uses a combination of curry powder and garam masala for a whole new flavor combo that is just too good and left me craving more.

Vegetable Curry Soup

While I greatly respect and admire those of you who have chosen to go meatless, I just don’t know that I’m cut out for it. If you fall in the “all dinners need meat” camp like me, allow this soup to change your mind like it did mine. Think rich and creamy coconut broth, loaded with hearty vegetables like carrots, broccoli, mushrooms and eggplant, and fragrant, exotic spices, all being soaked up with a warm piece of naan. It’s hard to imagine feeling anything but satisfied, isn’t it?  The best part is that dinner is done in 30 minutes and you’ve got leftovers to be excited about for lunch the next day. (Yesssssss!) We’ve now eaten this three days in a row with no complaints from my meat-eating family.

A little note about the spices: Stock your pantry with good spices that go beyond the basics. Both the garam masala and the curry will add some serious excitement to your midweek meals this fall and you won’t be sorry you made the investment when you find yourself using them on repeat in dishes like our tikka masala soup or buttered chicken again and again. So let’s recap: soup + curry + veggies + coconut broth + warm bread + only 30 minutes = everything. Trust me.

Vegetable Curry Soup

Vegetable Curry Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery,diced
1 jalapeño seeded and minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 large garlic cloves
2 tbsp yellow Indian curry powder
1 tbsp garam masala
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 tsp salt
2 12 oz cans coconut milk
2 tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped (extra for garnish)
8 oz mushrooms
1 small eggplant, cut into 1" pieces
1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small zucchini, diced

Method

  1. In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat add olive oil and heat for 1 minute. Add onions, celery, carrots and jalapeños and cook until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 2 more minutes. Add curry and garam masala and stir until fragrant.
  2. Add to the pot the vegetable stock and coconut milk and salt and stir until coconut milk in fully incorporated. Add remaining vegetables and herbs. Allow to simmer for 25 minutes. Adjust seasoning as needed. Serve warm with cilantro or green onions and flat bread.