Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Curried Butternut Squash Soup (with sriracha!)

Y'all, it just tastes like fall.

I love spring produce, with its peas and asparagus and loads of fresh herbs, and the way it melts into the berries and tomatoes of summer, but there's just something so very, very satisfying about FALL PRODUCE: the sweet potatoes, the pears, the brussels sprouts, and all manner of decorative gourds!

I bought a butternut squash the other day and roasted it with za'atar. It was lovely, and then the rest of it has been hanging out in my crisper waiting to be made into something special. And today I decided on soup.

Now, I'm not big on sweets. I love salty, I love sour, I love spicy, and when it comes to my veggies, I love savory, savory, savory. I grew up my whole life thinking I hated sweet potatoes, because I'd only ever had them covered in marshmallows!!! Can you believe that nonsense?

This one is super easy, super cheap, and super satisfying on a crisp fall day. Here's what you do: first, swirl some olive oil in a pot and turn the stove on. While it's heating, chop an onion. Cry. Add the onion to the oil, add some salt, and get that to sweating. While the onion is cooking, go ahead and peel/mince a coupla-three garlic cloves and about an inch of fresh garlic. Then grab a butternut squash-- I only used half, but it was probably 3-4 cups, peel that and dice it into cubes.

When the onions turn translucent, add the garlic and ginger, and stir it around for a minute or so until you can smell it, add some more salt, a generous pinch (or two) of hot chile flakes, a dried chile de arbol, and about 2 tablespoons of good curry powder. I used Madras, but use your preferred brand or your own mixture.

Add the squash, mix that all up, and cover it with a quart of vegetable or chicken broth. I used chicken, because it was on sale this week, but if you use veggie, ta-da! your recipe will be veggie. Cover it, bring it to a boil, then back off the heat and simmer until the butternut squash is very tender (as in, you can easily mash it with the back of a spoon). At this point, text the broth and re-season. I found it to need quite a bit more salt.

Now here's the important part: Let it cool a bit. Otherwise when you inevitably end up wearing it like I did, it won't scald the ever-living $&%*! out of you like it did me.


So now that we've let it cool, puree it with an immersion blender. Alternatively, you could move it by batches into a stand blender, but that's a lot of work and you should really own an immersion blender.

Puree until smooth-- believe me when I say this needs no cream to be silky-- and then reheat to serving temperature, taste again for seasoning, and top with a glog of good olive oil (and sriracha, if like me, you want it even spicier). 

like a sweater for your insides.

And here's the other important part: do NOT leave off the olive oil. Fat spreads the flavor across your tongue. Fat lets all that deliciousness get down into the grooves of your taste buds. Fat-free food is gross. So twirl some olive oil on top and enjoy your bowl of autumn.