There are a number of dishes I could have created with the butternut squash our friend Mandy brought us the other day. I looked at it and considered the possibilities, but each time I went back to what felt right: soup. A result of the change in the weather, maybe. The rain, the leaves on the ground, dictating what to cook.
Like most soups, it all starts with an onion, slowly sautéing in butter. Next, the cut squash and broth. As it simmers, I realize why it's the perfect fall dish. The spices and sweet caramel notes that come out in its aroma match those in the air outside.
Before serving, I let it cool for a few minutes as to avoid any injuries during the meal. There's a dollop of sour cream added, some squash seeds that were lightly toasted in the oven, and a little drizzle of olive oil to finish it off. Simple, rustic fare. It won't be the last time I make this over the next few months. I already have visions of slurping spoonfuls around our fireplace.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Seeds
1 butternut squash (2 to 3 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced ginger
4 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Scoop out the seeds of the butternut squash and place them in a colander. Rinse them, removing any stringy pieces of butternut squash. Pat them dry with paper towel and transfer to a small bowl. Coat with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon of salt.
2. Spread the seasoned seeds on the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until they begin to brown slightly. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet.
3. Set a large pot over medium heat. Add the butter, once it has melted, add the chopped onion. Let cook for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add ginger, butternut squash and vegetable broth and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the butternut squash is tender. Transfer the butternut squash to a blender (or you can use a bowl and an immersion blender) and puree. Return pureed squash to the pot and give it a good stir. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and all the spices. Let simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Test for seasoning and, if necessary, add salt and pepper.
4. Serve in bowls with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream. Top with toasted squash seeds. Finish with a drizzle of good olive oil.