Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving, 2012: Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Soups are a great way to start a dinner. They get your taste buds warmed up for the big meal and refresh you at the same time. This soup is warm and cozy. Butternut squash, a popular holiday vegetable, is quite simple in flavor so the curry and spices added to this soup make for a nicely complex starting dish. Adding coconut milk substantiates it quite a bit - so this soup could easily double as lunch with a light salad or a sandwich on the side.

I found it to be a perfect start to my Thanksgiving feast this year as temperatures are dropping quite rapidly in the Northeast and soup is just the thing for this heartwarming celebration. If you like spices, please try this! If you like soup, you must try this! If you are fond of butternut squash, definitely make this!! You will love it! It's not overly spicy... it's really quite perfect... All the spices round out so nicely and fit like they were meant to be together. Top it with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche or eat it alongside some buttered crusty bread for a mouthful of Fall.
You could easily swap the butternut squash out and sub in pumpkin for an equally fantastic soup!

Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Yield: 8 generous servings

1 1/2 medium-sized butternut squash
4 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 c red onion, chopped
1 c carrot, chopped
1 c celery, chopped
2 t curry powder
1 1/2 t cumin, round
1 t ginger, ground
1/2 t cinnamon, ground
salt & pepper, to taste (I used 3 t salt and 1/4 t pepper)
4 c chicken stock
1 13.5oz can coconut milk

Wash, peel, and cut up the squash and lay them in a roasting pan.

Toss it with 2 T extra virgin olive oil, some salt and pepper.

Roast the squash at 400F for about 1 hour, or until a knife pierced into the largest piece quite easily with no resistance, indicating it's cooked through.
In a large saucepot, heat up the remaining 2 T olive oil. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook for 5 minutes until the vegetable begin to brown. Add the curry powder, ground cumin, ground ginger, and cinnamon and mix, coating all the vegetables. Cook this for 2 minutes. This will toast the spices, allowing them to become more fragrant and flavorful.

Add the roasted squash to the pot and mix with the spiced vegetables to coat. Season as needed. Saute for another 5 minutes.

Then add the chicken stock. The liquid should just cover the squash.
Bring this to a boil and then cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, blend your soup until its smooth and no lumps remain. Season to taste.

Serve, piping hot with croutons, some crusty bread or a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche.

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