Winter Squash Soup

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Having grown up on a farm, I know what real food should look and taste like. My main focus when creating a recipe is always to source good quality ingredients. Having perfect technique won’t matter if you are not cooking with quality products. Buying organic and local when possible is the only way to ensure that you are giving your bodymaximum nutrition while also supporting your local farmers!

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A perfect example is The Hersel Project family farm, here in Malibu, who provided me with organic sweet potato for this dish. I also know that the holidays can be overwhelming! Thisheart warming, silky vegan soup will make your life a whole lot easier by keeping it simple, yet wonderfully delicious. Winter is butternut squash season so you will be able to find them everywhere! If you want to impress your friends and family, serve it as a starter for a holiday dinner, or if you are like me, have it for lunch with a grilled cheese!

- Monica Castillo

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2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium size butternut squash

1 medium size yellow onion

1 medium size sweet potato

2-3 garlic cloves

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1 can coconut milk

2 cups vegetable stock

1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Salt and pepper to taste

Smoked paprika for garnish

Minced chives for garnish

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Wash all the produce. Peel the squash and then cut into wedges. Scoop out the seeds, cut off the rind, and dice the squash. Repeat the steps with the sweet potato and onion.

Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the squash, onion, sweet potato and garlic. Add the curry powder, ginger, turmeric, salt and pepper, and sauté until lightly browned and the onion is translucent.

Add the coconut milk and bring it to a boil. Lower the temperature, cover and let it simmer until the squash and sweet potato are soft and fully cooked.

Place the cooked squash in a blender. Blend for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture is very smooth. Add vegetable stock half a cup at a time until desired consistency. Season generously with salt and pepper and top each serving with smoked paprika, chives and some coconut cream. MM

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Holly Bieler