(Ph)ood


Curried Butternut Squash Soup
October 24, 2010, 6:00 pm
Filed under: Appetizer, Dinner, Soup | Tags: , , ,

I will never forget the first time I sat down at Thyme (a restaurant in my hometown of Medina, OH) and the waiter placed a shot glass-sized amount of soup in front of me. This series of events was bewildering as I wondered why a restaurant would offer me soup in a shot glass!  I quickly learned that these small samples are called an amuse-bouche, a single bite sized hors d’œuvre used to excite the taste buds for the evenings dining experience.  The soup was a butternut squash soup.  It was small in quantity, but large in flavor.  It was awesome and I wanted more of it.  I knew one day that I would make this myself.  The soup seemed like a sophisticated comfort food for a cold fall or winter evening – a golden, creamy soup with flavors far exceeding the typical chicken noodle soup from which I was accustomed.

This weekend in Philly was a textbook definition of a Fall weekend.  The weather was cool, the atmosphere was relaxed, and the trees peaking in their colors of red, orange, and yellow.  It seemed like the weekend demanded that this soup be made.  I scoured the internet and found several recipes.  I took note of their ingredients and came up with a list of vital ingredients and atypical ingredients.  I even went as far as walking over to Williams-Sonoma and checking out the ingredients of their pre-made butternut squash puree.  Based on my research I came up with what I thought to be a pretty solid recipe.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup (from me!)

Thus far in my blogging, I am most proud of this recipe.  I have put more of my own creative thought into this soup than I have any other recipe to date.  Yes, I looked at several recipes (and products) to see what they were composed of, but of those recipes, I did not follow any.  I attempted this soup earlier this week so that I could improve it before serving it to my friends.  So this will be the first recipe that I literally write out for you here.

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 medium sweet onion (diced), 4 cloves garlic (minced), 1 tablespoon curry powder, 0.5 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 2 carrots (peeled and diced), 2 stalks celery (diced), 1 granny smith apple (peeled, cored and diced), 1-2.5 lb butternut squash (cut into 1 inch chuncks), 4.5 cups low-sodium chicken stock, 1.5 cups apple cider, 1.5 teaspoons salt, 1.5 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, 1 cup half and half, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon dried dill weed

Preparing the squash is probably the most difficult and dangerous part of this recipe.  It requires full concentration and a sharp knife.  The skin is thick and hard.  To peel the squash, cut it into 2 manageable pieces, usually cutting just above the neck.  Then carefully skin each part, cut in half length wise and remove the seeds, and finally cut into 1 inch pieces.

Dice the remaining fruit and vegetables.  Cover them all with plastic wrap until ready to use.  When prepared to actually start cooking, melt the butter in a large pan or pot. Add the onions and cook on medium heat until soft, about 8 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook an additional minute.  Now stir in the curry powder and cayenne pepper.  Next, add the carrots, celery, and apple.  Cook an additional minute.  Finally, stir in the squash, chicken stock and apple cider.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 25 minutes covered.  Remove from heat and let cool for 25 minutes.  In small batches, transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.  Transfer the blended soup to another pot.  Lastly, stir in the half and half, nutmeg, and dill weed. (Note: If you wanted to keep it as healthy as possible you could pass on adding the half and half.  I read that half and half will slightly dull the flavor, but provides a more creamy and thicker soup).

The soup can be served as either an appetizer or a main dish.  I chose to serve it as a main dish with French bread and a salad.  I garnished it with Swiss chard, bacon and pomegranate seeds (An idea I used from a recent FoodPornDaily post).

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1 Comment so far
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Do your friends know how lucky they are?! Please serve this the next time you’re with me!

Comment by Caitlin




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