Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This was a staff favorite at our Oktoberfest party this weekend. Since I cook by "taste" verses actual recipes, I hope this comes out to your liking!

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onions (one large onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 1/2 pound butternut squash (med/large size)
1 large apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups half and half
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream, garnish (optional)

Cut the butternut squash in half, lengthwise, and discard the seeds. Place squash on baking sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 75-90 minutes, until fork tender. Allow to cool. (Can be done a day or two ahead and refrigerated until ready.) When cooled or ready, remove squash from skin and set aside.
In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and sauté until slightly brown. Add garlic, curry powder, cumin, ginger, brown sugar and cayenne pepper; cook, stirring constantly, about 2–3 minutes. Add squash, chicken broth and the chopped apple. Bring liquid to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool 15 to 20 minutes.
Puree mixture in a blender or food processor, in batches, and transfer back into soup pot. (I use an emersion blender to puree the soup right in the pot.) Return the pot of soup to the stove over low to medium heat, stir in the half and half and the milk and bring up to "near" simmer temperature (about 190 degrees). Add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve now or keep warm until ready.

NOTE: At this point, soup may be refrigerated until ready to serve. To serve, warm over low heat, stirring until hot. Remove from heat and serve in soup bowls, top with a small splash of sour cream.

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