We love to talk with our customers in the store, we enjoy hearing what they plan on making with the spices and seasonings they are buying. Often we go home wanting to cook what we chatted about most during the day. Internet orders also have the ability to intrigue us. When we sent our second large order this year to Camp Denali, in Denali National Park in Alaska, we just had to look it up. What were our spices doing here? Why would a camp need the highest quality spices? They sent us this wonderful write-up. And bonus, they included a recipe, how amazing! This curry soup would be perfect for our now chilly Midwestern weather. We love the relationships we have with our customers; they are one of the most rewarding experiences of being small business owners. We hope to one day deliver a package there in person. Thank you to author Teresa Floberg and Kristen Vawter for the following lovely post. Lots of fun recipes in their site also.
Camp Denali Flavor by Teresa Floberg
A gourmet culinary experience is totally unexpected at the end of the90-mile Denali Park road, and 350 miles away from Anchorage.
Our guests are not in pursuit of a unique and memorable eating experience when they book a stay at our lodges, but that is exactly what they get. Over 60 years since our founding, the availability of good ingredients has expanded, as have the expectations of our palates. Long gone are the days of freeze-dried green beans and corned beef from a can. Today, the plates of delicious food served up in our kitchens represent not only the quality ingredients available to us, but also our pride in creating a featured part of your stay at Camp Denali and North Face Lodge.
The name of the dining room at Camp Denali, “Potlatch,” evokes a Native Alaskan tradition of sharing food in a community. We strive to incorporate a wider community of responsible suppliers through our commitment to source organic and sustainable ingredients. We find the best flavors to deliver a fantastic dining experience.
The level of detail found in our kitchens includes even the smallest of products: spices. The curry powder in our “Curried Cauliflower Soup” comes from The Spice House, a family owned company dedicated to highest quality and freshest spices. This delicious dish is prefect for an Alaskan climate, where a hardy vegetable like cauliflower thrives. Starting in July, we receive heads of Alaska cauliflower, ranging from creamy off-white to bright yellow and sometimes (when we’re lucky!) a shocking purple. This creamy soup is unique as it is thickened with cashews and coconut milk. It has a rich flavor without any dairy products and is also vegan. The recipe comes from health food guru, Dr. Andrew Weil.
- 1/3 cup raw cashews
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Salt, to taste
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1) Put the cashews in a blender and blend until finely ground. Add 3/4 cup of water and blend for 2 minutes. Strain and set this mixture aside.
2) In a large pot, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the diced onions and sauté until golden. Add the cauliflower, coconut milk, cashew mixture, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.
3) Blend the soup with an immersion blender or standing blender until the desired consistency is reached. If using a standing blender, allow the mixture to cool for 20 minutes. Pour the soup into the blender. Hold the lid down firmly with a clean, folded towel over it. Start on low speed and blend until the soup is smooth.
4) For the garnish, if desired, sauté the thinly sliced onion in the canola oil over low heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is golden brown, about 30 minutes. A couple pinches of sugar and a pinch of salt enhances the end result.
5) Garnish soup with caramelized onions and cilantro, if using, and serve.