Monday, September 22, 2014
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Curried Butternut Squash Soup

This favorite soup recipe was made so much easier with the invention of the immersion blender.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

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 Some recipes are so great that you don’t want to change a thing. Each time you make it, you only hope that it tastes as good as the first time.
This recipe for Curried Butternut Squash Soup is one of those I’ve been making for 20-some years, since it was published in the The Silver Palate Cookbook.
Blessedly, over those years, this soup has become much easier to make.
For one thing, butternut squash is now available peeled, chopped, and packaged at many grocery stores, eliminating the scary prospect of sticking a knife into a rock-hard squash and risking the loss of a finger if the knife slips.
Secondly, the original recipe requires you to strain the solids, and save the liquid (not an easy task with piping-hot soup). Then the solids were pureed in the food processor and returned to the pot on the stove, adding the liquid to achieve the desired consistency.
The invention of the immersion blender has changed all that, eliminating the need for pouring and straining and processing hot soup. You simply insert the stick blender into the pot of soup and blend away until it is smooth. It has changed the soup from a weekend project to a weeknight dinner.
And, I must admit, I have made it far more frequently since the advent of the stick blender and the pre-chopped squash.
I judge how much chicken stock to use based on the liquid-to-solid ratio when the soup is on the stove. (For me it is usually 4 cups of stock.) You want to have enough liquid to keep the soup boiling. The amount of apple juice is judged by the consistency you prefer and the taste. (For me, about 1/4 cup.) Do make sure to add a little as it does brighten the flavor of the soup.
The most amazing trick of this recipe? The end result is creamy without a drop of cream or milk. Try it for yourself and enjoy this lovely soup before the weather turns too warm.
 Curried Butternut Squash Soup
 4 to 6 servings
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups finely chopped yellow onions (about two medium onions)
4 to 5 teaspoons curry powder
2 medium-size butternut squash (or packaged, peeled and chopped, about 3 pounds total)
2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
3 to 4 cups chicken stock
1/4 to 1/2  cup apple juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 shredded, unpeeled Granny Smith apple, for garnish
 1. Melt the butter in a large heavy pot over low heat. Add the onions and curry powder and cook, covered, until the onions are tender, about 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, if using whole squash, peel the squash (a regular carrot peeler is best.) Cut in half horizontally, scrape out the seeds, and chop the flesh.
3. When the onions are tender, pour in the stock, add the squash and apples, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the squash and apples are very tender, about 25 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat and use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Add the apple juice, a little at a time, until the soup is of the desired consistency and taste.
5. Season with salt and pepper, simmer briefly to heat through, and serve immediately, garnished with the shredded apples.
— Adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook (Workman, 1979)
Per serving: 236 calories, 4 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams sugar, 8 grams fat, 20 milligrams cholesterol, 449 milligrams sodium, 7 grams dietary fiber 

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About this blog

Maureen Fitzgerald, Inquirer food editor, has been cooking for 30 years. Her blog started with her daughter, but has been continuing for the past year with school children, this spring with fifth graders at Henry Lawton Elementary in Philadelphia. The program has expanded to 10 schools, with 20 volunteers working with a total of 50 urban children. The program is partnering with the Vetri Foundation for Children and Brown’s Shop Rite is providing the food.

Reach My Daughter's at mfitzgerald@phillynews.com.

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