Monday, November 3, 2008

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

If butternut squash wasn't such a darn pain to peel, I'd probably cook with it more often. I know, I know, I can buy it already cut and peeled at the store. But, I just don't feel right about that. And, isn't it less fresh that way? Maybe there's actually a better way to peel it that I don't know about. I usually just use a potato peeler to take the skin off, and I peel away until I can see orange. It's also sometimes a Herculean effort to cut the squash into chunks, but maybe my knives just need to be sharpened.
But, it's worth the effort. These odd shaped winter squashes yield some pretty tasty meals. Tonight I tried a curried butternut squash soup. I originally thought of roasting it, but that takes more time. Plus, I had been told that last year's cyclocross race in Northampton (where I spent this whole past weekend) had Curried Butternut Squash Soup, so I was disappointed they didn't have it this year, and I had to settle for a mediocre veggie chili. So, I figured I'd just have to make my own curried squash soup.
I'll give you the recipe as is. I had cut back on the apples thinking it might be too much, but I actually think it would have been o.k., and it might give the soup a thicker consistency than mine had.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
1 cup chopped
4 cloves
garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Red (cayenne) pepper to taste
2 1/2 pounds
butternut squash, peeled, seeded, halved lengthwise, and sliced thin
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3 cups water
1 pound tart
apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat olive or vegetable oil. Add onion and saute until golden brown.

2. Add garlic, curry powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper; cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds.

3. Add squash, vegetable or chicken broth, water, and apples. Bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 25 minutes or until squash is tender. Remove from heat and cool 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Puree mixture in a blender or food processor, in batches, and transfer back into soup pot. Season with salt and pepper.

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