CURRIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

INGREDIENTS

1 2-lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, diced into ½”- ¾”  cubes, yielding about 6 cups of cubed squash

4 TBSP olive oil

3 TBSP butter

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 TBSP minced fresh ginger

1 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp yellow curry powder

¼ tsp cumin

1 tsp fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried

4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

2 tsp brown sugar or to taste

1 tsp Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 cup light cream

Chopped parsley and ½ cup sour cream for garnish

 

METHOD

Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds using a spoon. With the cut edge facing down, cut the squash into strips, then crosswise to create- ½” – ¾” cubes. Note: Microwave the whole squash for 30 seconds to soften peel.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, thick-bottomed pan on medium heat. Work in two batches so as not to crowd the pan, add the cubed butternut squash to the pan. Toss to coat all sides with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then spread out in an even layer and let cook, stirring only occasionally, so that the edges and sides get lightly browned. Adjust the heat up to ensure browning, or down to prevent burning or drying out. Add more oil for the additional batches. Remove from pan and set aside.

In a large soup pot, melt the butter and the remaining tablespoon olive oil. Add onions, carrot and celery and toss to coat with butter and oil. Sauté for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, curry powder, cumin, and thyme to the vegetables and stir to combine. Cook for another 3 minutes until the mixture is softened, using a flat-bottomed wooden or metal spatula to scrape up any browned bits.

Add the butternut squash, chicken stock, and 1 teaspoon salt to the soup pot. Stir to combine ingredients and increase the heat to bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 40 minutes until the squash is completely tender.

Use an immersion blender or stand-up blender to blend the soup until smooth. Note: If using a stand-up blender, let the soup cool for awhile and work in batches. Be sure to cover the lid with a towel to avoid hot spatters.

Add brown sugar, additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Return all the blended soup to the pot, add cream and stir to combine. Gently reheat the soup. Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped parsley for garnish.