Friday, November 05, 2004

Curried Butternut Soup Recipe


As each new season arrives I begin to think that it's my favorite. The colors, the scents, and the flavors of fall are just beginning to tantalize my senses. For sure it's the rich and eye-catching colors that grab me first; the pumpkins, pomegranates, pears and apples are so beautiful they almost beg to be put on display.

Of course anything that is associated with Thanksgiving is also a hallmark of fall. Pumpkin, pecans, cranberries, even brussels sprouts. Just the words alone make my mouth water in anticipation. It seems in preparation for the winter, flavors intensify. Not that the flavors of summer aren't intense, but they have a different fresh delicate succulent quality about them that disappears in the fall.

All sorts of winter squash are turning up at the market right now. Hardy vegetables that have some staying power. They wait until you are ready for them, unlike summery tomatoes and basil that say "use me or lose me!"

Butternut squash is so wonderfully easy to cook and just tastes like fall to me. Some of my favorite things to do with butternut squash are to use it in risotto, a tagine or soup. I really can't resist making a pureed butternut squash soup. There are endless variations for it. The one I made recently included an onion, an apple and some curry spices--cumin, chili and ginger. I finished it off with a can of coconut milk.

Note: I use a pressure cooker and a hand blender to make this soup quickly, but you could easily make this in a conventional pot and blend in a blender, a little at a time. You could also cook the squash in the microwave to speed things up, just cut it in half and place it in a glass container with some plastic wrap over it and cook until done.

Curried Butternut Soup

Ingredients

1 large or 1-2 small butternut squash
1 onion
1 apple
2-3 cups water
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon chili powder, any type you prefer
1 can coconut milk

Instructions

Peel, seed and chop the squash. Peel core and slice the apple into chunks. Chop the apple. Place all the vegetables and the apple in a pressure cooker and add enough water to almost cover halfway. Add the spices and cook on medium pressure for 10 minutes. Add one can of coconut milk. Puree the soup using a hand blender, then add salt to taste.

Enjoy!