Every October, when fall weather creeps into our Amarillo streets, I think of my sweet mother and the incredible soups she’d make to warm our bones. It’s also the time when some of us are hit hard with gnarly colds, allergy flare-ups, or the flu. I, for one, did not escape unscathed this year. Although my symptoms still linger, there’s nothing better than a delicious soup to ease recovery. 

It’s funny how a season of the year, a childhood dish, or a scent in the air can trigger a wave of nostalgia that brings things to the surface from long ago. Last week, memories of Mom’s comforting soups found me as I waited to see the doctor. As I stared at the crooked picture frame hanging behind the receptionist’s desk, I began to reminisce about the times my mother would take me to our family doctor when I was a child. 

My pediatrician was amazing. His office was in an old pier–and-beam house with squeaky floors. My heart would sink when I would hear the footsteps of the nurse walking to our exam room with a shot in hand. After all these years, that feeling of foreboding still comes over me in doctors’ exam rooms. However, remembering Mom at that moment calms my jangly nerves. This visit, I got away without a single needle prick but left with a prescription, an eagerness to make a healing soup, and a nagging feeling of knowing that picture frame would never be straightened. 

It’s days like these I wish Mom was still around. No matter how old we are, I don’t think we will ever NOT miss or need our mom and their gift of comfort. For now, this soup will have to do. 

BUTTERNUT SQUASH GARAM MASALA SOUP 

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil 
4 cups vegetable broth 
2 sprigs  fresh thyme 
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper 
1 can full-fat coconut milk (solid part only) 
1 to 2 teaspoons garam masala 

Heat a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil to melt. Then add squash and onion. Saute for about 8 minutes or until onion becomes slightly translucent. Add a bit of salt and pepper along with a few thyme leaves and continue to saute for a few more minutes. Pour in broth, cover, and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Ladle out half the soup into a blender. Blend until creamy. Pour blended soup back into the pot. Add more salt and pepper to taste, coconut milk, and garam masala. Stir to combine. Can be served immediately or lukewarm. Top with extra coconut milk solid and garam masala if desired.

Makes 4 servings

Author

  • Ruthie Landelius

    Ruthie owns Black Fig Food catering and is proprietor of the online cooking platform Elevated Plant Plate. Learn more at elevatedplantplate.com and blackfigfood.com.