Once again, my daughter Mika asked me to make butternut squash soup as part of my Christmas Eve menu. I had made a version of it for my 2008 Christmas Eve dinner, but I hadn’t been that thrilled with it. I found a number of well-rated recipes online, but many reviewers suggested that they were quite bland without some doctoring. So I decided to start with Claire Robinson‘s recipe as a base and add extra seasonings to make it tastier. The results were quite good, even my husband liked the taste. I didn’t blend it as much as I should have, however, so parts of it were a bit chunky 🙁 The soup, as I made it, was unfortunately a bit too spicy for Mika, though perfect for the rest of us. To make it child friendly substitute regular curry powder for the Madras curry powder I used. I made this soup the day before I served it, it heated up very well. This recipe should serve 12 adults easily, half it if there are fewer of you. Serve with sour cream.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
- 2 butternut squashes
- 1/4 cup olive oil + more for brushing
- salt and pepper
- 4 shallots, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
- 2 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. curry powder
- 2 tsp. Madras curry powder
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. allspice
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 quarts chicken stock
Preheat oven to 375F
Cut off tops and bottoms of the squashes. Cut them in two, lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and put facing down on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and carefully turn the squash around, so the flesh faces up. Let cool and then scoop out the pulp into a bowl, discarding the peels.
Heat 3 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat in a stock pot. Add the chopped shallots and the ginger and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sage and spices and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Add the reserved squash and the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Let cool and then blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Alternatively, blend in a blender in batches. Return to the pot and cook for at least five more minutes to let flavors blend. Season with salt and pepper.
For some reason, my daughter Mika got it into her head that she liked butternut squash soup, and she requested that I make it for Christmas. Now, butternut squash soup is not my favorite, but she was pretty insistent, which she rarely is for any food item.
I made this soup based on a (surprise, suprise) epicurious.com recipe. The recipe got great reviews, and people at my dinner table really liked it. In particular, Mika loved it.
Personally, I wasn’t sold by it, but I felt the cider cream was an essential ingredient for the soup to work – the sour element gave it an extra dimension to what would otherwise have been pretty bland results. I used Trader Joe’s sparkling apple cider, because that’s what I found at TJ’s. I used Better than Bouillon for the chicken stock – I usually just add the water and the appropriate amount of concentrate, rather than make the stock before hands. It’s easier and just as effective
I made the soup a day in advance and I think that improved it. I’d make it again if my daughter requested it.
On a different note, I found that the easiest way to peel the squash was to cut it into sections and then use a pairing knife to peel.
I didn’t change the recipe very much (if at all) – though below I’m providing adjusted ingredients. The original recipe turned out twice the amount of soup I needed to serve 8 as a soup course. There were no leftovers, though.
Butternut squash soup with cider cream
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small chunks
- 2 medium leeks, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 Granny smith apple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
- 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp. dried sage leaves
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock.
- 3/4 cup apple cider
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- half bunch of fresh chives, chopped.
Melt butter over medium-high heat in a stock or large pot. Add squash, leeks, carrot and celery. Sautee for about 15 minutes, until soft. Add apples, thyme and sage and mix. Add chicken stock and 1/2 cup of cider. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until apples are tender. Cool.
Puree the soup in a blender, in batches. Return to the soup.
Meanwhile boil 1/4 cup cider in a small pan and reduce it by half. Cool. Place sour cream in a small bowl and whisk in the cider.
Bring soup to a slow boil. Add the whipping cream and mix well. Transfer the soup to a serving dish and drizzle with the sour cream. Top with chopped chives.