October 22, 2018
This is about...
Easy Curried Butternut Squash Soup!
curried butternut squash soup no oil.png
        COLD WEATHER AND ALL SORTS OF “HARD” SQUASHES GO TOGETHER. Nature knows best, always ripening what works best with the season. THIS SOUP USES BUTTERNUT AS ITS STAR, with a supporting cast of curry powder, onions, garlic and if you like it spicy, a bit of Thai red curry paste. It’s warming, earthy, easy to make and a great gateway soup into the winter ahead. And, unlike most butternut squash soups which tend to be sweet, this version is A CURRIED SAVORY TAKE on that classic.
        Although I love winter squashes of all kinds, peeling them can be a challenge unless.... YOU BAKE THEM. Then it’s simple. Just scoop out the tender, baked pulp. There’s another bonus. Baking, caramelizes and concentrates all of its sweet flavor.
        This soup has a luscious, creamy texture without cream. A high-speed blender will get you there quickly, but a regular blender will work too. It will just take a little more time.
        The liquid you use in this soup can be any number of choices. Chicken stock is fine. Plain old water or vegetable stock will make it vegan. Even coconut milk, another vegan choice, would be delicious.
        HARD TO BELIEVE, BUT THANKSGIVING IS COMING SOON, AND THIS SOUP WOULD BE A PERFECT ADDITION. Or make it as an anytime, soothing cold weather soup with a toasty grilled cheese, or a tumble of homemade croutons on top. Plus, it’s gets even better after a day in the fridge, making for an easy do ahead option. So, grab a butternut squash and welcome in the thermometer’s dive in style.

LESSONS Learned:
1. Pick a squash with a long neck and smaller bulb (where the seeds are). You’ll get more pulp, less seeds to deal with, and it will be easier to cut.
2. I like to cut off the neck of the squash as well as the very top. Then I stand the bottom, flat side of the squash on the cutting board to keep it stable, and slice it top to bottom in half. I also lay the flat side of the bulb on the cutting board, and slice that in half as well.
3. Don’t like the curry? Switch that out along with the garlic and red curry paste, for 1/8th teaspoon of nutmeg and cinnamon, and 1 Tablespoon of pure maple syrup for a sweeter, less savory version.
4. Don’t want to peel and cut squash? You’re in luck! You can find butternut squash already peeled, seeded and cubed in your grocery store! You can still bake the cubes, tossed with the oil, salt and pepper, just until soft-- which will take pretty much half the time.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

1 large butternut squash (about 2 ½ - 3 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided –one for drizzling on the squash, the other for sautéing
1 small onion, about ¾ cup chopped
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1-3 t curry powder
1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste, optional
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste, start with 12 grinds
about 4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth, coconut milk or water
1 to 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, optional
For garnish: toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, croutons, and scallions

Make the soup:
        Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the neck off of the squash, as well as the top stem. Stand the flat cut side on the cutting board to keep it stable, and slice lengthwise in half. Place the cut side of the bulb on the board and slice that in half as well.
        Place the sliced butternut squash on the pan and drizzle the flesh side of each piece with the olive oil to lightly coat. Rub the oil all over the cut side, and sprinkle the pieces with salt and pepper.
        Turn the squash face down, and roast until tender and completely cooked through, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool for about 10-15 minutes.
        While the squash roasts, in a large soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften. Add the curry, and continue to cook until completely softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more, stirring constantly.
        Scoop the butternut squash flesh into the soup pot and discard the skin. Add the stock, milk or water, and the black pepper. Heat through and blend in batches in the blender until very smooth. Return to the pot, and if desired, stir in the butter or olive oil and heat until piping hot. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if desired. If you like, garnish with croutons, toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, and/or scallions.
        Can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 3 months.

Makes 4-6 servings.       YUM!
Would LOVE to hear from YOU! Leave your COMMENT below.