Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Squash Soup

Sweet and spicy, warm and comforting: Curried Butternut Squash Soup is a luxuriant soup for the autumn season.  My original inspiration for this soup came from the Silver Palate Cookbook many years ago.  Since then, I have tweaked and made variations of this soup in the different countries where I have lived.  What I love about this rich soup is that there is no cream in the stock.  Sweet onion, tart apples and squash cook down in chicken stock, then puréed and thinned with apple juice.  The apples add a sharp, spicy sweetness that compliments the earthy, sweetness of the squash, while curry powder adds heat and roundness to the flavor.  As a final flourish, I like to add a dollop of cool crème fraîche as garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro. This is a hearty, healthy and pleasing soup for a cool fall day.

Curried Butternut Squash (or Pumpkin) Soup
As we moved around Europe it was difficult to find the prolific American butternut squash, so I would improvise with small hokkaido pumpkins that were available in the fall.   You can also substitute the butternut squash with another sweet, orange fleshed squash or pumpkin.

Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, cut in 1″ chunks
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut in 1″ chunks
2 tablespoons currry powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1-2 teaspoons salt, to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Crème fraîche
Fresh cilantro leaves

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onions and stir until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add apple and squash and cook, stirring, one minute.  Add curry powder and ground coriander and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.  Add chicken stock.  (Stock should cover squash and apples.  If not, then add additional stock or water to cover.)  Simmer, covered, until squash and apples are very soft, about 30 minutes.  Purée soup in batches in a food processor or with an immersion blender.  Add apple juice to soup and gently cook to heat through.  (If the soup is too thick, add additional apple juice to desired consistency.)  Stir in brown sugar, salt and pepper.
Serve soup hot, garnished with a spoonful of crème fraîche and a few cilantro leaves.

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