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Curried Butternut Squash Soup

This gluten-free soup is a good starter for people not sure of curry since it adds just a lift of a different flavor to a soup that is very mild. Perfect for fall!

butternut squash soup recipeFrom Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

This is a warming soup, both in the fact that it is a hot soup but also the curry provides additional inner warmth. It's a good starter for people not sure of curry since it adds just a lift of a different flavor to a soup that is very mild. The squash, apples and carrots make a sweeter soup.

Gluten-Free Curried Butternut Squash Soup 

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz bag frozen squash cubes, preferably thawed (about $1.20 a bag in my grocery store)
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 ribs/stalks celery, washed and chopped – older outside stalks of celery can be stringy even when puréed
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free mild tikka masala curry paste – (if you really don’t want the curry flavor, I have made a similar variation of carrot ginger soup with butternut squash and vegetables by adding 2-3 tablespoons of fresh ginger to soup instead of curry paste. Or perhaps some red pepper flakes or hot peppers and cilantro)
  • 2 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 6 c water with 1 tbsp gluten-free chicken stock concentrate (I use Orrington’s labeled gluten-free, $4 for 12 oz container) or chicken stock
  • fresh nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 c half and half or light cream, fat free half and half, evaporated skimmed milk or Asian brand of coconut milk
  • 1/2 c (2oz) grated Swiss cheese or strong cheddar (optional)

Directions:

Make an herb packet (bouquet garni) of 1 bay leaf, some parsley stalks and1/2 tsp dried thyme in a small coffee filter bag tied shut and let it cook with vegetables for the half hour. Remove for puréeing and return to soup if you are not yet ready to serve soup or will be refrigerating leftovers.

Note that the smaller you chop the vegetables, the quicker they will cook. Chop all the vegetables the same size. But note that if you chop vegetables in food processor they tend to be too small to be puréed by the immersion blender and need to be puréed in food processor. Squash cooks down quite quickly since it is frozen and then thawed.

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add apple and raw vegetables, stir well and cook, covered, gently for about 10 minutes until softening, this is known as sweating and brings out the natural sugars in the vegetables. Add squash and stir well.

2. Stir in curry and cook for one minute. Add stock, bring to boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.  The length of cooking time will depend on whether the squash was frozen to start with and how large you cut all the fruit and vegetables. Obviously frozen squash and large pieces of vegetable will take longer.

3. Remove herb packet and use an immersion blender in the pan or purée in a processor.

4. Add half and half/cream and cheese. Then once cheese has melted, season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. I often just offer shredded cheese on the side so people can add their own.

5. For an individual serving. Mix 1 tablespoon sour cream with chopped parsley, celery leaves and green of green onions, all finely chopped and spoon into a Ziploc bag. Cut off tip and pipe little dabs of mix in a circle on soup. Draw a knife through sour cream dabs to make a pattern or pipe sour cream in a whirl.

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