Thursday, December 17, 2009

Curried Squash Soup

I think I've been neglectful. It has, however, been worth it. I've cooked until my arm has nearly fallen off. I've made (among other things) apple butter, cranberry butter, gumbo and this bit of lovely.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

1 butternut squash, quartered and seeded
2 medium (large? I don't know, about tennis ball sized) onions, peeled and quartered
1 large or 2 small apple(s), cored, peeled and diced
1 medium head garlic, minced
6 C vegetable broth
1 t. brown sugar
1 bay leaf
1.5 T curry powder or more. I'm a big fan of curry, so I think I put in 2.5 T or something like that
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger (N.B. this is necessary in my house: my sister is allergic to ginger, so there isn't any in our curry. Yours probably has some already.)
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
A touch of chili or cayenne pepper powder. Juuust enough to give it a little extra kick. I'd say a scant 1/4 t.
1 C plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 350F. Put squash and onions on to baking sheet. Brush squash with olive oil so it doesn't dry out.

Roast in oven. Keep an eye on it while it's in here. The onions will be tender and ready to come out long before the squash, and they'll start to scorch. When they go soft and start turning brown, pull them out with tongs and put them aside.

When the squash is tender (I think it took me 50 minutes or so), pull it out of the oven and let it cool. Once it has, peel it and cut into 1.5-2 inch chunks. Don't worry about chopping it up finely or precisely; it's going to get cooked until it falls apart and then run through the blender. Chop the onion up into smaller pieces.

At this point, I threw a bit of olive oil into the bottom of my stock pot and cooked the onions a little more. I like my onions sweeter and more caramelized than a lot of people, so that's totally optional.

Put squash, onions, apple, garlic, broth, brown sugar and all the spices into the stock pot. Bring it all to a boil and then let it simmer until everything falls apart when you poke it with a fork. Make sure the salt, pepper and other seasonings are to your taste and adjust as needed. Then let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Once you're there, you can do this one of two ways: you can turn the heat all the way down and blend it to smithereens with an immersion blender or you can take it all off the heat, let it cool and run it through a blender/food processor, in batches if necessary, until it's all smoothed out. If you've used an immersion blender, take the pot off the heat. Either way, stir in the yogurt until everything is blended together.

If you're eating right away, heat it back up and serve hot. Most of mine was divided into single serving portions and frozen. It reheats wonderfully.