Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Baguette Croutons

I hope everyone had a great Halloween! It seems like our Halloween was for a whole week long. From our apartment complex's party to a church party to a school party, by the time it was Halloween my kids already had enough candy to feed a small country and we hadn't even gone trick-or-treating yet!

I bought a butternut squash last week to put in my beef stew, and then I totally forgot about it. Tell me I'm not the only person who does that! I was trying to decide what to use it for...risotto? I'd always wanted to try butternut squash risotto but with the weather getting cooler (you know, in the 50s!) I decided to try soup. I've made it before but I switched it up a little.

First off, you need to know how to peel a butternut squash. It's kind of a hard squash with a tough peel. Stick your squash into the microwave for about 3-4 minutes. This will soften the flesh and the peel and make it easier to work with.

Next, take off an inch or so from the top or bottom. It keeps your squash from rolling around when you are peeling and gets rid of the ends.

 Cut the squash in half and discard the insides.

My dad likes to compost, and that included any organic scraps such as the insides of squash and melon. Every year he gets this plants that start growing that he can't identify and it's always fun to figure out which seed from which melon or squash actually took to the soil.

 Using a serrated peeler, remove the peel until you reach the orange flesh. You may need to remove a few layers before you reach it.
 After you have peeled the squash, cut it up into 1-inch cubes.
 Throw the cubed squash into a soup pot with the sauteed onions, garlic, curry, and chicken broth.
 When the squash has softened (about 20 minutes) use an immersion blender to blend the ingredients together. If you don't have an immersion blender, transfer the soup to a blender in batches.
 When everything is blended you have a beautiful soup. Look at that color!
 Brush the croutons with olive oil. This will help them become golden in the oven.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp curry powder
4 cups (32 oz) chicken stock
4 cups (1 1/2 - 2 lb) cubed butternut squash

In a large pan over medium heat, saute onion, garlic, and curry in oil until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and squash and cook until squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender (or a blender), blend all ingredients until soup is smooth and thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Baguette Croutons

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice a baguette into slices about 1/4" thick. Lay on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake for about 10 minutes or until toasts start to brown. Break the toasts in half and use as croutons in the soup.

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