Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Squash soup

Just so nobody gets the idea that I “chef it up” all the time, tonight the wife and I were tired, so we had tuna melts and canned tomato soup. Decided to skip the candles and cloth napkins also. :P

Anyway, a couple hours after dinner, I got my second wind and whipped up this squash and sweet potato soup. Karen loved it, which surprised me as she somewhat dislikes both sweet potato and squash. She loves curry, but you don't strongly taste “curry” in the soup, it’s just part of the background flavor, so I don't know why she enjoys this, but I won't complain.

Easy Butternut Squash Soup

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into cubes
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, diced
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 or 2 sprigs fresh thyme
Chicken stock
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala (if you don't have this, double up on the curry powder)
Cayenne pepper
Olive oil for drizzling (optional)
Pine nuts, toasted (optional)

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook onions until soft, but not browned. Add butternut squash, and potato, and season with salt and pepper again. Cover and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, stirring occasionally. Add enough chicken stock to just cover and season with all spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes, covered.

Remove the stems of thyme. Carefully ladle the soup into a blender or large food processor, or use a stick blender in the pot if you're clever. Pulse until no lumps remain. Serve, topped with pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

It’s really good to have a stick blender when you make your own soups, by the way. They’re not terribly expensive, and much, much easier for cleanup then running the whole thing through a food processor (in batches no less).

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