curried butternut squash soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash soup is one of those things I feel like can really be hit or miss.  When it’s done right, I love it.  I’ve had some really excellent versions at various restaurants, but whenever I’ve tried to buy it in a store it always seems to be really bland.  This variation is certainly not bland- it uses a large variety of spices, which all blend together to create a really well-balanced flavor.  There’s a warmth from the curry powder, a little kick from the cayenne, and a nice fall flavor from the nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger.  In addition, the soup  gets some of its thickness by adding in some potatoes, allowing you to use much less cream than you would need otherwise.  All in all, it came together nicely and I can’t wait to continue enjoying it for lunches throughout the week.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • pinch cayenne
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used low-fat)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt, to garnish
  • Crumbled bacon, to garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Line a baking sheet with tin foil.  On the prepared baking sheet, toss the cubed butternut squash with 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Roast for about 25 minutes, or until softened and beginning to brown.

While the squash is roasting, heat the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, carrot and salt and saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften.  Stir in the potato, ginger, cinnamon, curry powder, nutmeg, and cayenne.  Continue to saute for 2 minutes.  Add in the chicken stock, milk, heavy cream, honey, and paprika and bring the soup to a boil.  Decrease the heat and simmer, covered, over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and easily pierced with a fork.  Add the squash in whenever it is finished roasting.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream and crumbled bacon if desired.

Yield: About 6 servings

Source: Adapted from The Pastry Queen, via Pink Parsley

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