It's practically raining winter squash here in Berkeley. Everywhere I turn, there's a gorgeous pile of kabocha or delicata or acorn or butternut or pumpkin.On Thursday, the first butternut squash of the season was nestled in our produce box along with beets, peppers, onions, eggplant, and apples. In just a few short months, I will probably be greeting this lovely squash with a sigh and a scowl (there can be too much of a good thing, after all) but right now, I'm in that euphoric honeymoon period when winter squash are still a delightful novelty. Butternut squash has a lot going for it -- its pretty, bright-colored flesh is sweet, hearty, and nourishing.
The recipe for this soup comes via my good friend Hilary in Washington, DC. She's a great appreciator of good food so when she said it was both "yummy and easy," I decided to give it a try. I made this last night for dinner and have to echo her sentiments-- it is yummy and easy, indeed. Enjoy!Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4 as a main course
* about 2 lbs butternut squash (or substitute with acorn squash, delicata squash, pumpkin, etc.)
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 1 large ripe tomato, chopped
* 2 cloves of garlic, minced
* 2 cups vegetable stock
* 1 can of coconut milk
* 3 teaspoons curry powder or garam masala
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, or more, to taste)
* salt and pepper to taste
* 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon. Save for another use or discard. Spread about 1 tablespoon vegetable oil on the bottom of a roasting tray and place the squash halves cut side-down on the tray. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until the flesh feels soft when poked and it has shrunken away from the skins a bit. Flip over and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out all the flesh and reserve in a bowl.
2. Meanwhile, heat a heavy-bottomed pot with another tablespoon or so of oil and sautee the onions over medium-low heat. Season with salt and pepper and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the curry powder, optional cayenne, chopped tomato and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, another 4-5 minutes.
3. Add the roasted squash, coconut milk and vegetable stock. Stir to combine thoroughly and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes or so.
4. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup to a smooth consistency (this can also be done by transferring the soup in batches to a food processor or blender.) Taste for seasoning. Add additional stock or coconut milk if it’s too thick to your liking. Once the soup is to preferred taste and consistency, stir in the lemon juice to taste and serve.
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