The temperatures are sinking, the sky is an icy blue, hinting at the coming colder temperatures. But before the snow and the bared tree limbs arrive, the streets and yards are lined with all the colors of fall: gold, rust, brown and a few recalcitrant green leaves. As our appetite changes with the season, we need something to fill the kitchen with the tempting aromas that make us salivate in anticipation of the next meal. Something that warms us up and nothing does that better than a bowl of soup. This recipe has few ingredients: curry, butternut squash, Granny Smith apples, onions, vegetable stock, olive oil and Kosher salt. It’s perfect for all dietary needs in that it’s vegan, dairy free and gluten free.
Look for a squash with the stem end still attached and one that is firm and weighty. The outer skin is tough and inedible, but provides a protective coat that allows the squash to be stored in cool, dry spots for weeks, and as a side benefit, it becomes sweeter with storage time. The pear-shaped squash is solid through the neck and the bulbous portion contains a pocket of seeds, which are edible after cleaning and roasting, similar to pumpkin seeds. The flesh color is a vibrant golden yellow, rich in carotene, vitamins A and C and the squash is high in fiber.
For this recipe, the squash can either be peeled, seeded, cubed (the smaller the cubes, the faster the cooking time) and added directly to the soup mixture for cooking; or roasted and the flesh scooped out at the end of the cooking. Either method works well, there is no difference in taste, texture or appearance.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
Line Up Your Ingredients:
Butternut squash, Granny Smith apple, onion, olive oil, curry, salt and vegetable stock. I’m showing hot curry here for those whose palettes are not as delicate (okay, wimpy) as mine. If you decide to use the hot curry, halve the amount to one teaspoon.
Also, for those really paying attention, I made a double batch, which is why the onion is HUGE and there are two apples. That’s a five-pound squash! I have tested the recipe for a single batch and it works great. I wanted to get a big batch made and frozen for the holiday season. It really comes in handy. Last year I served a small mug of the soup to everyone as they arrived for X-mas eve dinner!
Sweat Your Vegetables:
Heat the olive oil in a large covered pot over medium-high heat. Lower the heat a little, toss in the onion, apple and salt and cover and sweat for five minutes, which releases water and softens the onion and apple.
Release the Flavor of the Curry:
Stir the curry powder into the hot vegetables and oil and stir for about 30 seconds.
Add the Stock and Boil:
Add the stock (and raw squash if using that method) and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle boil and cook until the apple and squash are easily crushed when pushed against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon. This can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the squash pieces.
Puree the Soup:
Add the roasted squash now (if that’s the method you chose) and puree the soup with a blender, in batches, or with an immersion blender.
It’s always a good idea to taste at this point and tweak to your liking. Enough salt? Too thick? Add some water. Too spicy, add a squeeze of lemon juice.
More Than You Need Now?
Freezes well for several months.
- 1 two and one-half pounds butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups diced onion
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoonssweet curry powder*
- 4 cups vegetable stock or water
- *reduce by half if using hot curry
- Set up:
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Line a 10” x 15” baking sheet with parchment or foil.
- Heat the oil in a large covered pot over medium-high heat and stir in the onion, apple and salt; cover, lower the heat and sweat for five minutes.
- Add the curry and stir for 30 seconds to release the flavor.
- Stir in the stock (and raw squash, if using this method) and bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle boil and continue cooking until the squash easily crushes against the side of the pan, approximately 30-60 minutes, depending on the size of the squash cubes.
- Puree the soup (add the roasted squash at this point if using that method) in a blender, in batches, or with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Soup freezes well.