Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Recipe: Curried Squash Soup

I made this soup last night and it was a great meal to warm us up while we waited for the massive snow storm to arrive. Unless I have a sandwich to dip in it, I don't generally love blended vegetable soups like this since I feel like I'm eating a big bowl of runny baby food, but the flavors and garnishes on this one give it a complexity that makes it something even I can eat by the bowlful. It is one of the variations of the Pumpkin Soup recipe in Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything Vegetarian that I have changed a tiny bit. I used butternut and acorn squash but you can use any winter squash you want. By far the hardest part of this soup is peeling and cutting the squash. Because of the grooves, acorn squash is a huge pain to peel, butternut much less so. But the rest of the soup is super easy so well worth the peeling effort. I haven't tried, but I assume this soup would freeze really well as it is a blended soup. The recipe doesn't make a ton, but you could very easily double it and freeze half for a snowy day. I served it with a couple pieces of Trader Joe's frozen garlic naan and it was delicious together and made it it into a meal. The red pepper flakes give it a tiny bit of a kick but it is not at all spicy. However, if you are feeding it to kids that are sensitive to that sort of thing, you may want to leave it out or add it at the very end after scooping some out for the kids.

Curried Squash Soup
Serves 4

3 tablespoons butter or oil (I used olive oil)
3 pounds winter squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 to 2 inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 cups vegetable stock
1 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper
chopped cilantro and scallions, for garnish

Heat the oil in a deep skillet or sauce pan over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the squash and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder and pepper flakes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and continue cooking until fragrant, another minute or so. Add the stock and bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the soup bubbles gently. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash starts to fall apart, about 30 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pan. Or cool slightly and pour into a blender or food processor and puree carefully in batches.

Heat the pureed soup until almost boiling. Stir in the coconut milk and heat through, but do not boil. Taste to adjust the seasoning, and serve garnished with a swirl of coconut milk and chopped cilantro and scallions.

1 comment:

Marian said...

Could you cook the acorn squash first to make it easier to scoop the meat out of the skin? I assume the flavor might me affected? What do you think?