Saturday, February 9, 2008

Hard Squash, Soft Soup

This is the most-requested soup I has convinced several people to hang around my house, offering to peel, chop, fix leaky faucets, or entertain until the soup was ready to eat. It won't look pretty while it's simmering--it'll suggest a brownish, murky, apple-y stew--but once the blender does its magic, you get this lovely, sunny winter-spirit-lifting yellow. All the "work" is in the chopping; it's quite easy to finish once everything's in the pot. You'll get a chance at the end to perfect your salting skills.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 large leek, dark green tops discarded, rinsed well and sliced thinly

  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped

  • a little vegetable or olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon curry powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 6 cups)

  • 1 pound Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped (3 to 4 cups)

  • 6 cups water

  • 1/3 cup whipping cream

  • salt & pepper

  • chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish

Heat the oil over medium heat in a soup pot. Add the leek, garlic, cumin, curry, and cayenne, and saute for a few minutes to soften. Add the squash, apples, and water to the pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and simmer about 30 minutes, until the squash is very tender. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor (be careful of hot liquid splatters), or in the pot with an immersion blender. Stir in the cream and heat gently, without boiling. Add some salt and pepper: I start with a teaspoon and a half of salt. You'll need to add salt gradually and taste after each addition until it reaches its prime flavor. This soup has the ability to be the most flavor-licious pot of goodness you've ever tasted, but you have to trust that the salt will get it there. Be earnest with it.

Makes about 10 cups.


Jeremy said...

I made something similar tonight. Quite nice. If you email me I'll give you that bacon potato soup recipe.

Janet said...

I made this recipe and it's delicious. A bit sweet and spicy.