Dana Slatkin

Curried Summer Squash Soup with Fresh Basil Oil

Curried Summer Squash Soup with Fresh Basil Oil

Curried Summer Squash Soup with Fresh Basil Oil

Last week, I took a delightful cooking class with my 9-year-old daughter in the tiny ghost town of Ashcroft, nestled in the mountains of Aspen, Colorado. The teacher was an accomplished cook as well as an artist, who traveled from Paonia (the eco-conscious farming capital of Colorado) to share her wonderful musings on food, painting, and nature.


After capturing a summer squash in watercolor and then transforming it into a gutsy chilled soup, we walked outside to a long country table to enjoy our feast under a cloudless blue sky. Our lovely plein-air menu (from Jack Bishop’s A Year In A Vegetarian Kitchen) inspired my version of this sweet and piquant soup, which can either cool or warm your soul, depending on your preference.

I like to use ginger juice whenever ginger is called for, because it is so much easier than peeling and mincing the unwieldy root. Just grate a piece of the unpeeled bulb onto a plate, then scoop the pulp into your hand and squeeze the juice into a small bowl (You can replace grated ginger with ginger juice one for one.).

This vivid soup, with an artistic drizzle of lush basil oil, is what I would be craving daily in my idyllic mountain hideaway. In colder months, I’d make this same recipe using butternut squash in place of summer squash, serving it piping hot with swirls of cilantro oil, maple syrup, and crème fraiche.

Try our light and refreshing Summertime Gazpacho with Olives and Avocado.

Photo credit: 24boxes.blogspot.com

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  1. Robin Weeks says:

    Dear Dana,
    Thank you for sharing this site with us! How inspiring to read more about your background and life. I will definitely check out your book- and keep tabs on your blog for some good recipes. : )
    Take care,
    Toklat Steward

  2. Maria Hodkins says:

    Dear Dana,
    How delightful to know that your exquisite artistry with that Salad Nicoise on a platter was indeed the work of a Chef Extraordinaire!  Your incognito presence (and your daughter’s, as well) contributed so much to the ultimate celebration of beauty and flavor inherent in our fresh, local, organic meal.  I’m so glad to know of your book, and will just have to add it to my collection!
    Maria Hodkins
    Itinerant Chef & Journaling Instructor

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