Friday, February 24, 2012

Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Cilantro Yogurt

A couple of years ago we were looking for a good butternut squash soup recipe to take advantage of the beautiful squash we find at the farmers' markets around fall and winter. Becky found an old Cook's Illustrated recipe that somebody else had reposted online. It purported to extract the most flavor out the squash by steaming it and sauteing the seeds. Unfortunately, we found it to be watery and bland. Though the cilantro yogurt garnish was delicious!

I got to work on it, roasting the squash instead of steaming it (similar to my pumpkin pie recipe; adding more squash and less water; and a bit more salt. I've been meaning to post this online for a long time, and here it is!

Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Cilantro Yogurt

4-5 lb butternut squash (3 medium)
4 Tbs unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, minced
1 Tbs curry powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup plain yogurt
4 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp lime juice

1. Preheat oven 350 F. Chop the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Put the squash halves face down on the foil, and roast for ~1-1.5 hr until the squash is soft, rotating the pan occasionally.

2. When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out roasted innards into a bowl. The squashy goodness should come right off the skin.

3. Heat butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder and salt and cook for ~30 seconds. Add roasted squash and stir. Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, make the cilantro yogurt garnish. Stir together yogurt, cilantro, lime juice, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.

5. Blend the soup. This is most easily done with an immersion blender, but it can also be done in batches in a regular blender (with a lot more hassle and clean-up). Add heavy cream, and bring back to simmer. Taste for salt, and serve hot with a dollop of cilantro yogurt and slices of No Knead Bread.

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