I remember vaguely having to try butternut squash around the age of about 4 and thinking it was pretty darn gross. Alex has also told me squash is one of the few things he doesn't like... (Despite me now getting him to eat it on multiple occasions. :-) )
However, on my quest to eat local foods and with that eat what is in season, I couldn't help but wonder about all those crazy squashes that have been appearing in the farmer's market as of late. Most I have yet to identify, but I figured of all of them, butternut squash seemed the safest place to start. At least it was a variety I've heard of, and at least has a tasty sounding name.
I googled around for a bit to see what I could find for butternut squash recipes, and decided I was going to make a soup, as it's suddenly gotten quite chilly in NYC, particularly in our apartment... which had heat for one day, and now apparently the radiator or heating pipe has ruptured between our floor and the basement apartment's ceiling. Shoot. Hence, no more heat. (This will hopefully be fixed tomorrow.)
But for the meantime, soup! I was inspired by this recipe for Curried Squash Soup on AllRecipes.com. I varied things up a bit, and am excited to try this again with even more variations. I have discovered I love adding quinoa to soups as I think it adds a little more oumph and makes them a little more filling.
My recipe was as follows:
* 1 and a half smaller butternut squash (I could probably have used the full two)
* 1 large yellow onion, chopped
* 3-4 garlic cloves, pressed
* Olive oil
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* A Sprinkle of Sea Salt
* 1 or 1.25 teaspoon curry powder
* 1/8 - 1/4 or so cup Quinoa (I just sprinkled some in, just an estimate)
* 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped into small thin pieces
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus a tad more. (I don't have an 1/8 tsp, so I estimated.
* 5.5 or so cups chicken broth, I used homemade chicken broth, which I would highly reccomend. This could also easily be switched to veggie broth if you're looking for that.
* Bay leaf, (My spice rack has crushed bay leaf, so mine stayed in, if you have actual bay leaf, use that and remove it)
* CILANTO CREAM TOPPING:
* 1/4 cup sour cream
* 1/8 cup whipping cream
* 1/8 cup minced fresh cilantro or parsley
1. Cut squash in half lengthwise; discard seeds now or after baking. Rub your squash with olive oil and sprinkle with some dried thyme and sea salt. Place cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 40-50 minutes or until tender.
2. In a large saucepan, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the flour, salt, curry powder and cayenne until blended. Add carrot. Stir in broth. Add the quinoa and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. (Mine didn't really thicken exactly, but, that was allright.) Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
3. The next step I did with an immersion blender, but could be done in a regular blender in small steps. Scoop out your cooked squash and add it to the broth mixture. Blend everything up with your immersion blender.
4. Add your mixed cilantro cream topping, and enjoy!
This soup was really, really delicious! Alex and I finished off the pot for the two of us. So, if you're cooking for more, I'd recommend serving it with bread or making a bit more. The flavors in this were warm and wonderful. The spices came through but weren't overpowering. I will for sure be making this again!