Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Curried Squash Soup

I hope you can still find squash out there. My laundry room is still bursting at the seams with them, although we have been doing our best to keep them moving along.  This soup managed to use up a whole one, and quite a good sized one too. Four pounds, perhaps. When you are eyeballing a squash to choose, you should pick one that gives the visual impression of 8 cups, to allow for peeling, deseeding, and shrinkage while cooking.

You can use what squash you like, but I like butternut. It is by far and away our favourite squash, and I think we are going to stop growing much else, because why grow it if it isn't our favourite?

I made this for people who don't like much heat, so I didn't add any chile-garlic sauce to the pot of soup. It got added to some individual bowls, though, and those of who thought that would be an improvement, thought it was an improvement.

8 servings
30 minutes prep time, plus about 1 hour to roast the squash
but not including cooling time

4 cups mashed cooked squash
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 tin rich coconut milk
6 to 8 keffir lime leaves, fresh or dried
3 or 4 shallots
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
1" x 1" x 3" piece of fresh ginger
1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil
3 tablespoons Malaysian curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

To roast the squash, cut it in half and remove the seeds. Rub the cut sides with a little vegetable oil, and roast it at 375°F for about 1 hour, until tender when pierced with a fork. Allow the squash to cool, at least enough to handle, before proceeding.

Peel and mash the squash, and put it in a large soup pot with the chicken stock, coconut milk, and keffir lime leaves. Bring to a simmer; stir occasionally.

Peel and chop the shallots,  peel and chop the garlic, and peel and mince the ginger. Heat the oil in a skillet, and cook the shallots gently until softened and only very slightly browned. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for a minute or two more. Add the curry powder and salt, and again, cook for a minute or two more. Stir constantly.

Add the contents of the skillet to the soup, swishing out the skillet with a little of the broth. Return it to the soup. Continue simmering the soup, stirring occasionally, for another 20 minutes to half an hour.

Remove the keffir lime leaves and discard them. Purée the soup in a food processor or blender, in several batches, until very smooth. This soup is better the next day; but in any case, heat it a simmer before serving.

Last year at this time I made Vegetable Soup with Cheese Dumplings

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