For that, Indian food really fits the bill. Ginger, garam masala, curry powder, and all the other spices that traditionally show up in things like curry are warming in and of themselves, so it makes sense that they’d be extra warming when used in soup. Of course, that’s one of those things I never would have thought of myself. 1,000 Vegan Recipes thought of it for me, and I found the recipe while searching for a way to use up the bottom part of a butternut squash.
This is really more like a thick chili or stew than soup, which is perfectly all right. Each ingredient has a warming or filling component that makes for a very comforting finished dish. In addition to the spices you’d expect to find in Indian food, there are chunks of butternut squash, red lentils, and, of all things, Swiss chard. We didn’t get any fresh chard out of the garden this year, but our freezer almost always has some in it from years past. I was able to use a bit of the frozen stuff in the soup by letting it thaw at room temperature first, then chopping it and adding it near the end of cooking time.
Roti was a natural accompaniment. 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of the East has a recipe that I’ve been trying to get right for a while, and I think I managed it this time. You’d think something with three ingredients would be easy to master, but getting the right consistency and moisture content for roti is deceptively difficult. The past couple of times I made it, I either rolled it too thin and it dried out, or I didn’t put enough water in the dough to begin with. This batch was closer to the flavor and texture of what I’ve gotten at Indian restaurants, and it tasted really good with the soup. Besides, you need something to catch those last drops at the bottom of the bowl, right? The whole meal was an interesting departure from “normal” veggie soups, and it’ll be great to make again when winter rolls around and I need some serious warming up.