Nothing says “cold weather” like a hearty vegetable soup or curry.

Marc Goff, a Whitman College student and owner of Harvest Smoothie Co., can attest to this, with customers piling in every day to try his dairy-free concoctions.

Located at 1415 Plaza Way, Harvest Smoothie Co. has something for everyone. Goff offers fresh, whole-food smoothies and smoothie bowls year round, in addition to savory soups, sandwiches and biscuits and gravy. Most of his options are vegan friendly.

“We will be running several rotating soups, some vegan and some not — but heavily focused on organic and quality ingredients,” Goff said. “We have an organic cream of broccoli, and a creamy tomato soup, corn chowder and a great chili.”

Goff sources ingredients locally in Walla Walla and College Place as much as possible, with one of his favorites being butternut squash. This fruit — yes, fruit — is rich in vitamins and minerals and loaded with antioxidants and fiber.

It tastes similar to sweet potatoes with a sweet flavor profile and a hint of nuts. The perfect butternut squash is heavy and hollow with a sturdy, brown stem. Look for a tan exterior without any green marks. White coloring is OK since that’s where it came into contact with the ground.

Butternut squash pairs well with one of the Walla Walla Valley’s favorite winter dishes — curry.

Goff generously shared his vegan curried butternut soup recipe — available at Harvest Smoothie Co. — so that you can create it at home when you need a great meatless Monday meal the whole family will love. Not only is it vegan, it’s also gluten free.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium organic butternut squashes
  • 2 Walla Walla winter sweet onions
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 cans of organic, full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups of organic vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons of yellow curry powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  • Wash and dice your squash.
  • Fill a large saucepan with water, and turn on the high heat.
  • Once the water is boiling, add the diced squash. Cook it until soft.
  • Drizzle olive oil in another saucepan, and sauté the onions until translucent, about three to four minutes.
  • Add the garlic. Cook for about one minute.
  • Toss in the cooked squash and stir the mixture together.
  • Slowly pour in the coconut milk and vegetable broth.
  • Season with curry powder. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook for another three to five minutes.
  • Use a hand emulsifier to blend the soup, or wait for the soup to cool down, and add it to a blender.
  • Enjoy!

This recipe serves four to six people. If you’re crunched on time, give it a go in the Crock-Pot. You might also enjoy it over basmati rice, but be sure to reduce the liquid content if you take this route.

If you’re concerned about the spices, don’t worry. Goff’s signature curried butternut soup is mild, so you know your kids can enjoy it as much as you do. You can also customize it with other delicious fruits and vegetables, meat alternatives or other meats such as chicken or lamb.

The butternut squash, coconut milk, and curry powder are the gems in this recipe, with complementary, unique flavors that give you a chance to mix up your menu at home. Feel free to modify the spice content to suit you or your family’s liking.

Goff was inspired to create curried butternut soup when he worked at His Garden, a College Place vegan bakery and deli, in 2007.

“Most of (my) inspiration has come from my younger days working in the vegan restaurant, and my inspiration for starting my own business was from my experience as a line cook over the last 10 years or so,” Goff said.

After having his daughter — whom he calls his largest motivator — Goff went back to school to get his degree. He realized he had enough experience in the food industry to venture out on his own and when school and working three part-time jobs became too much, he took the leap.

Valley residents can be happy he did. Not only did the city get access to a healthy line of vegan and non-vegan smoothies, but it also received — and continues to receive — excellent customer service that sets the tone for food service.

If you don’t feel like cooking and need a healthy dish for those cold winter nights, Goff’s Harvest Smoothie Co. may have the treat for you. Snow or shine, Goff is happy and ready to serve smoothies, soups and more from his convenient drive-thru location.