Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chewy Curried Butternut Squash Soup (was Bisque)

I found this on Epicurious. Thank God for Wegmans, who already cuts up the butternut squash for you. If it weren't for that, I am not sure I'd venture into the wild world of this squash because they are rock hard. This recipe had a nice trick though - roast it! I even did it to the cut up pieces and it made it quite easy.

As always, the recipe is first and what I DID to it, is below.

2 2-pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped peeled apple
2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste*
2 14-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons sour cream, stirred to loosen
Chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush cut side of squash with oil; place squash, cut side down, on large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Scoop squash out into large bowl. Measure 3 cups squash (reserve any remaining squash for another use).

Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, and apple; sauté 5 minutes. Add curry paste; stir 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, bay leaves, and 3 cups squash. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered 1 hour. Discard bay leaves. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return to same pot. Stir in cream and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Rewarm over medium-high heat.

Divide soup among bowls. Drizzle with sour cream; sprinkle with cilantro.

What I did:

First of all, the above-mentioned Wegmans miracle squash is necessary for non-domestic goddesses. It is already nicely cut up and packaged, ready to go.
I poured two containers (about 20 oz each) into a cake pan and drizzled olive oil on top and popped it into the oven as directed.
It was then that I noticed the recipe did call for a blender. Drat. No blender. Well, I will just have to chew then - no sipping through a straw.

Wegmans ALSO sells chopped onions in a one-cup bag. Ditto julienned carrots (hey, at least I know what they are). Yes, I am lazy.

I threw in an entire chopped up granny smith apple. Well, all that I didn't sneak myself. (Can you sneak food, when it's just you cooking?)

From one of my last cooking adventures I had a whole container of bay leaves in the freezer (am I becoming a real cook now?)

I didn't add the red curry paste until near the end - it turned out just fine. I also don't have a blender so also near the end I took a potato masher and mashed away. Just enough to make it more fine, but clearly not bisque. Again, no worries. I only could find heavy cream, not sure if that is like whipping cream or not. It worked...

The honey is a nice touch because it is a little spicy (not a lot, but you can tell). I just dolloped some sour cream on top. No cilantro (although I should have sprinkled a wee bit of ground coriander on top, had I been thinking...)

This was marvelous and I've already set aside three lunch-size containers, with enough in the big container for at least 4 meals if not more.

This is a winter photo so I thought it would look nice here. Algonkian Park, not too far from home.

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