For whatever reason, I’ve had a handful of summer soup recipes just sitting, waiting patiently, in my recipe stack. They’ve been sitting there all summer. I never made them, never even pulled them out of the stack to consider making them. I simply cannot get behind the cold summer soup recipes. And don’t get me wrong – I like them – I just don’t seem to ever want to make them.
Hot soups though? Hot damn, and yes ma’am!
Have I mentioned my love of butternut squash? Alright, I know I did – but I really really really love it. I mean really. In fact, I’d reconsider my choice of stranded island food if it weren’t for the difficulty I might encounter peeling them on that imaginary island. And since I had a table-full of various squash from my apple picking adventure, all I had to do other than get those puppies cut and roasted was to see what was hanging around the pantry and fridge to add to ’em.
Which brought about a huge revelation: I have to finally admit that I’m really getting into fall right about now. Although I love the weather of the summer, I love the food of the fall. I couldn’t wait for the winter squash to take root in the Whole Foods’ produce section and farmers’ markets, I am so excited about making cranberry sauce I can’t see straight, and I love using my immersion blender to make a rich, comforting, hot soup.
Especially this soup, which is undoubtedly our new favorite around Chez Wetzel. If my love of the squash itself wasn’t enough, this soup ups the ante by also having one of my other favorite things, curry. Red curry paste, to be exact. And instead of blabbing about its’ loveliness with halibut or short ribs, I’ll blab about its’ loveliness in this soup. It is to. die. for. Autumn in a bowl – a rich, decadent, healthy bowl of orange deliciousness but with a wee hint of Thai spiciness.
And although I haven’t met a butternut squash soup I didn’t just adore, I will quickly admit that this “souped-up” version with curry is on a whole other level. The curry paste is the perfect complement and adds just a hint of heat to the soup. The carrots and apples balance out the flavors a bit, and finishing it with a little honey adds a teeny tiny touch of sweetness.
It’s too bad that pretty soon the leaves will all be dead and I’ll be swapping out my light fall jacket for my marshmellow coat – right when I start to be excited about this weather. Such a Debbie Downer, right?!
Until then, I’m gonna knock out a few more soups, use (or freeze) the rest of my squashies, and look forward to a day full of turkey, casseroles, and cranberry sauce. Because after all that, it’s chili time!
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted liberally from Bon Appetit, February 2007; serves 6-8
2 2lb butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded (can also use other winter squash – I used 3/4 butternut, 1/4 delicata)
2 T unsalted butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1 T fresh ginger, chopped
4 t Thai red curry paste
2 14-oz cans low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 c water (or another can of broth)
2 bay leaves
3 T heavy cream
2 T honey
cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
- preheat oven to 375 F. place cut squash on foil-lined baking sheet. roast until tender, about 1 hour. cool slightly. scoop squash out into large bowl. measure ~4 to 4 1/2 c (reserve remaining for another use)
- melt butter in large heavy pot (dutch oven is perfect) over med-hi heat. add onion, carrots, apple, ginger and saute 5 minutes. add curry paste and stir for 2 minutes. add broth, water, bay leaves, and squash. bring to boil; reduce heat to med-low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour. discard bay leaves.
- working in batches (or using immersion blender, my best friend), puree soup in until smooth. return to pot. at this time, if soup is too thick, add more water to thin, being sure to heat through. stir in cream and honey. season to taste with salt and pepper.
- divide among bowls and serve with chopped cilantro
More Butternut squash: