Saturday, February 26, 2011

Curried Roasted Squash Soup

By popular demand, I present my recipe for curried roasted squash soup; this was the soup we served at the wedding. I've reduced the amount compared to what I made at the wedding. I made the soup base a couple of days ahead and froze it, then added the cream after it was warm.

1-2 winter squash* (depending on size; if they are very large use one, small use two), halved, seeds removed
1 large sweet onion, peeled and quartered
1 head garlic, peeled
2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and quartered
3-4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth** (depends on how thick you want your soup)
1 bay leaf
1-2 teaspoons (to taste) Maharajah Curry Powder (this is my favorite pre-mixed curry powder for non-spicy dishes, but if you have your own favorite use that)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I like true Ceylon cinnamon; its more complex and works better with savory dishes than common cassia "cinnamon")
1 cup heavy cream***

Preheat oven to 350° F. Put squash, onion, ginger on a baking sheet; put garlic cloves in the middle of a square of foil, drizzle with olive oil, wrap, and put them on the sheet as well (I like peeling them before roasting, as I find this results in less work and waste compared to squeezing the whole bulb after). Roast 45 min to 1 hour, until squash is very tender (check with a fork).

When squash is done remove everything from the oven and let it cool until you can easily pick up the squash. Scrape squash flesh from the skins into the bowl of a food processor, together with the onion, ginger, and garlic. Pulse until smooth, adding broth if necessary (if it's too thick to pulse). In a stockpot combine squash mixture with the rest of the broth and seasonings, and add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil over medium/high heat, then turn down to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and add cream. Serve hot!

* I've also made it with summer squash; not as creamy, and you don't have to roast it quite as long, but its still very good. Summer squash with yogurt (or just without cream) is a nice summer soup.
**I like chicken broth, but if you want a vegetarian version, use vegetable.
*** This *could* be made without cream, but it wouldn't be quite the same. For alternatives you can leave the cream out for a vegan dish (when used with vegetable broth), for lower fat use yogurt, if you're feeling crazy you could even try something like vanilla Silk in it.

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