Yellow Summer Squash Soup with Curry Spices

(recipe, Deborah Madison)


Yellow crookneck squash go particularly well with these spices, but golden zucchini, pattypans, or any summer squash can also be used. If you are picking squash from your own garden and have squash blossoms, use one or two finely chopped blossoms, along with the cilantro, as a garnish.


  1. 3 Tbsp. clarified butter or ghee
  2. 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  3. 1½ lb. yellow summer squash, sliced
  4. 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  5. 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  6. 1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
  7. 4 cloves
  8. ¼ tsp. cardamom seeds
  9. ½ tsp. ground cinnamon or 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
  10. ½ tsp. turmeric
  11. ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, or more, to taste
  12. 1½ tsp. fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
  13. ½ tsp. salt
  14. 6 cups water or stock (preferably vegetable stock made with Indian spices)
  15. ½ cup light or heavy cream
  16. 3 Tbsp. cilantro leaves, chopped, for garnish
  17. Squash blossoms, chopped, for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat the clarified butter or ghee, add the onion and the squash, and cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring as needed.
  2. Gather all the whole dried spices together and grind them to a powder in an electric spice mill. Add them to the onion and squash, along with the cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne, ginger root, salt, and ½ cup water or stock, and continue to cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the rest of the water or stock and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Pass the soup through a food mill or purée it in a blender. Return the soup to the stove and stir in the cream.
  4. Taste for salt and add more if necessary. Because some squash are less watery than others, the soup may need thinning with additional water or cream. Serve the soup garnished with the chopped cilantro and squash blossoms if available.