Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Curried winter squash soup

Much like the last post, this is a recipe of seriously bright color. The batch I made last night featured my favorite winter squash, kabocha, but you can use whichever variety you like best or happen to have lying around the house. Butternut would probably be pretty good. My dad happened to be in town last night, swinging through with his jetsetting lifestyle to socialize with us for an quick evening before heading on his busy way. He said he liked the soup, so if it's good enough for an international xylose fermentation superstar, it should be good enough for the rest of us.

I sautéed 1 large minced onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoon butter. When they were getting soft, I added in 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder and a pinch of paprika and stirred it all up together. The onions continued to cook for about 10 more minutes. You want them to get very soft but not browned, so keep the heat on the low side. Meanwhile, I chopped in half and de-seeded one large kabocha squash. I peeled up the squash and cut it into small chunks of about 1 ½", then peeled 2 apples and cut them into the same size chunks. Stirred both the squash and the apples into the pot to cook alongside the onions for about 5 minutes, then added 3 cups of chicken stock. Brought it to a low simmer and let it cook until the apples and squash were quite tender, about 25 minutes. At this point I stirred in ½ cup of plain yogurt, ¼ cup sherry, a pinch of red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons salt and a very healthy grinding of black pepper. Then I turned off the heat and got out my fantastic immersion blender that I love more than life itself, and blended hell out of the soup. It turned a sunshiney bright yellow with the curry and the squash and the flavor mellowed out beautifully with the yogurt. You may find it needs a touch more salt, so taste it to see. I allowed the now-smooth soup to chill out on a back burner covered at a low simmer until my dad showed up, then I added a couple tablespoons of finely minced parsley to finish.

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