Monday, January 9, 2012

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Hello, my dear friends!

My apologies for the nearly month-long and completely unintentional hiatus. After a crazy semester full of group meetings, job recruiting, and email-happy professors, I spent my break almost entirely computer-free.  (If only I didn't have a smart phone, then I really would have had a break!) Thankfully, my break was not cooking free, and I have a million and one recipes to share with you. 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Sugared Cranberries - Nature's Sweet Tart
Chicken Parmesan
Lemon Basil Roasted Broccoli
The Spice Cookie Cook-Off!
Mom's Egg Bake
California Egg Bake (Gluten-free version)

There were also a few duds, like my Shallot and Mint Sauteed Peas, which will never, ever be repeated. Ever.

Unfortunately, anticipating being able to use my parent's camera, I left my baby in Bloomington. Mom's camera is currently moody and refuses to be focused manually or automatically. Therefore, any pictures I took during break came from an iPhone, so the quality is a little rough. If any of these sound good and you're in Bloomington, let me know so I can recreate them, snap some shots, and then dig in!

This soup is delicious; The spiciness of the curry is offset by the sweeting of the apples.
Lots of fall flavors to complement our autumn-ish winter weather.
I served it with roast pork loin and it was a perfect side. 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted from Ina Garten's Parties! Cookbook

Prep Time: 45 minutes (lots of chopping, but you can do this ahead of time)
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: a ton! I'd recommend halving the recipe, or making it and freezing a bunch

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons EVOO
3 large yellow (sweet) onions, finely diced
2 tablespoons of mild curry powder

2 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1" cubes
4 Fuji apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 cups of water
Salt and pepper, to taste

2 cups of apple cider
Fresh thyme (optional)

Post-mash, and pre-puree.
Note: I love butternut squash. Love it. I absolutely despise preparing it. It takes forever and toys with my temper. I came away with bloody knuckles. If anyone knows an easy way to peel them, I'm begging for the secret.

1. Prep time--Peel, chop, dice, and measure everything out. I'd do this ahead of time.
2. In a large stock pot, heat the butter and oil over medium-low heat. Cook onions and curry powder uncovered until soft and translucent, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom for the amazing caramelized part.
3. Add butternut squash, apple, and 2 cups of water to the stockpot. Stir thoroughly. When I made this, the water did not completely cover the squash. Don't worry.
4. Bring to a boil, and then lower heat and allow to simmer 35-40 minutes covered, occasionally stirring.
5. Add salt and pepper. Mash squash and apples in pot, until it is all a weird solid-liquid mixture. 
6. In a food processor (or Ninja Blender!), finely puree the mixture. Put it back in the stockpot.
7. Stir the cider into the mixture, and allow it to heat through. 
8. Serve with fresh sprigs of thyme, mmmm, delicious!

The lovely mess I left myself. Please note the squash guts on the Coke, the cookbook, the broom on the floor for sweeping spewed seeds, and the general mayhem that defines my cooking style.

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Hi guys! Let me know what you think of this post, if you've tried the recipe, or have a dish request. Thanks!