I have made it no secret that I love soup. Given the snow we have gotten over the last few days it is the perfect time to share a Curried Butternut Squash soup recipe. I am not really a snow person, I tend to be cold all the time. I would much rather a beach house than a mountain chalet. I do like that I am cozy in comfy clothes and scarf with a hot cup of tea in front of the fire. I also like that my son is enchanted by it all. He is in the refusing to wear gloves stage which leads to many "oh no, no gloves for baby" comments from the peanut gallery. Yup, when we go outside gloves are only allowed for myself and husband, not for my young child with bright red hands. One day he will come around and stop torturing himself and making me look like a bad parent (on second thought does that ever happen?).
So over the last few weeks I have made this soup three times (to this recipe's credit there have been no complaints). I have been on a quest to find the easiest way to deal with the squash. These are the things I do for my readers. The first method was to cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and bake it cut side down in a 350 degree oven for 45 min. This gave a nice result but took the recipe to a length of time that was not after work friendly. The second method was to cut, peel and cube raw and add to soup to cook with the other ingredients. I do not recommend this, I felt like I was going to lose a finger at some point and my vision of easy peeling with a vegetable peeler didn't materialize. The final, winning method was to prepare the squash in the same way I did for the oven but popped it into the microwave on high for 15 min (I pierced the outside skin with a fork to release steam). I let it cool for a few minutes then scooped it out with a spoon into the soup. It wasn't 100% cooked but enough to scoop.
1 butternut squash
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 potatoes, chopped (I was thinking this would also be good with yam)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp curry powder (optional, but delicious)
1. Prepare butternut squash as per one of the above methods (seriously use the microwave).
2. Add oil to a large pot over medium heat. Combine onion, celery, carrot and garlic and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
3. Add potato, squash, stock and curry powder. Bring up to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook covered for about 30 minutes (or until veggies are soft).
4. Puree with a hand blender or blender and serve.
This recipe was passed on from a friend, so I have no idea where it originally came from. I have made other butternut squash soups that call for apples or cinnamon, but I much prefer this less sweet version. The addition of curry powder gives just the right amount of spice and an added feeling of warmth. I served this up with cheese toast and a raw veggie platter. Of course I made extra to freeze. This can be vegetarian and gluten free depending on the stock you use.
Stay warm people, I know my Alberta readers are really feeling the cold these days.
Tiffany McFadden, RD