Well, hello there.
First off: yes, I recycled last year’s October theme. I had trouble putting together a photo for this month – not that the photo itself is difficult, it was simply time and circumstance (and the fact that I can’t start a @$#%ing fire without using the entire Sunday edition of the New York Times). Ah, well…the photo will work just fine for November so hopefully I’ll find the time (and fire) to put it all together in the next 27 days. (If you’re thinking, “Surely 27 days will be plenty of time to take a photo and put together the theme!” – you don’t know me very well, do you?) Besides, I love Halloween and am pretty fond of this theme. And my little chef guy is up there, enjoying the fun, so it’s all good.
Second, thanks to everyone who’s weighing in on my post from Friday about my dilemma on what to make for Thanksgiving. You all have wonderful suggestions! Please keep them coming.
Thirdly – this recipe. Boy, oh, boy. Let me get you all excited about it right off the bat by telling you that The Young One ate it. And loved it.
Yeah, it was THAT good.
You could probably use just about any type of winter squash (except perhaps maybe spaghetti – it would be particularly good with butternut), but I used this:
This is a blue hubbard squash. Hubbard squashes are the behemoths of the winter squash world – at about 4 pounds, this one was small; they often grow to 20 pounds or more. They range in color from greyish-blue, like this one, to green to bright orange. The flesh of the squash is vivid orange surrounding the seeds, gradually becoming more green towards the skin, especially once they’ve been roasted (however, once pureed it regains it’s lovely orange hue). It’s not quite as sweet as some winter squash varieties, but it is very creamy with a slightly higher water content than a butternut or acorn, making it ideal for purees and soups.
You can roast the squash in advance of making the soup – small squashes can be sliced in half like a butternut, just scoop out the seeds and rub the interior with a little olive oil. Place it, cut side down, on a foil-lined cookie sheet and roast at 350 F for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it can be easily pierced with the tines of a fork. When it’s cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and store it in a covered container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
If you happen to get hold of one of the really big ones, wrap it in plastic and break it open with a hammer or mallet, although I’ve heard some people just drop it on the floor until it breaks into pieces. Clean the seeds from the squash and roast it as described above – any excess squash can be frozen for future use.
The recipe makes eight 1 cup servings, although we probably ate about a 1 1/2 cup serving; I stirred roasted chicken into it before serving and it was wonderfully filling.
Note: Don’t add any salt to the soup until you’re almost ready to serve it – I made mine with homemade chicken stock, which has very little salt, and ended up salting the soup more than I’d expected. If you’re using a commercial chicken stock or broth, they’re pretty salty already and you may not need to add any at all. If you use lard (or coconut oil) rather than butter, the soup is dairy free (and, if I’m not mistaken, GAPS/SCD legal).
Curried Squash Soup
2 tablespoons butter or lard
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups roasted winter squash, such as blue hubbard
1 can coconut milk
1 pint chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place the roasted squash and chicken stock in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
Over medium heat, melt the butter or lard in a 4-quart enameled Dutch oven or stock pot. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and golden brown; stir in the garlic and cook for another minute more. Add the curry powder and turmeric and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is fragrant. (At this point you can add the onion to the mixture in the food processor/blender and puree if you desire a completely smooth soup.)
Pour the squash puree into the Dutch oven and reduce the heat slightly. Whisk in the coconut milk, and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the soup is heated through and slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
Nutrition (per serving): 206 calories, 15g total fat, 9.4mg cholesterol, 98mg sodium, 525mg potassium, 18.1g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 3.6g sugar, 3.7g protein.