Curried Butternut Squash Soup

INGREDIENTS:

6 cups butternut squash (or other winter squash of your choice), cubed
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 shallots, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons maple syrup (or coconut sugar)
1-2 teaspoons chili garlic paste, optional

METHOD:

Heat oven to 400°F.

Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray.  Arrange squash cubes evenly on baking sheet, season with a little salt and pepper, and roast for 20 minutes, turning once or twice.

In a large saucepot, heat coconut oil and add shallots and minced garlic. Stir until translucent, then whisk in curry powder, cinnamon, coconut milk, vegetable broth, and maple syrup. Add the roasted squash and cook for five minutes, or until the squash is soft.

Remove from heat. With an immersion blender, blend mixture until soup is smooth and creamy.

To serve, garnish with croutons or toasted pepita seeds if desired.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Homemade Autumn Butternut Squash SoupRoasting the squash adds a dimension of flavor and robustness to this soup. Serve with a rustic country bread.

INGREDIENTS:

4 pounds whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces) or a large pear, diced
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
8 fresh sage leaves
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)
Sages leaves, for garnish (optional)
1/2 cup mascarpone, for garnish (optional)

METHOD:

Heat the oven to 425°F and position oven rack in the middle.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet.

Combine sugar, cinnamon, salt and pepper in small ramekin, set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and rub or brush it over the tops and insides of the squash halves. Season generously with sugar-cinnamon mixture. Roast until knife tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the apple or pear, onion, and sage, season with salt and pepper, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

When the squash is ready, set the baking sheet on a wire rack until the squash is cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the sautéed apples and onions; discard the skins.

Add the chicken stock, water, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Carefully decant several cupfuls of soup into food processor container and process until smooth. Repeat in batches until all of soup has been puréed.

Pour puréed soup back into sauce pan, stir in cream, and heat — do not boil. When ready to serve, garnish each bowl with a sage leave and dusting of toasted pumpkin seeds and/or a swirl of mascarpone, if desired.

YIELD: 6 to 8 servings

Photo by © Brent Hofacker – Fotolia.com