Curried Squash/Pumpkin/Sweet Tater Soup
In a large soup pot, saute a large sweet onion in some type of fat. You can use butter, or olive oil, or even bacon fat if you keep it after browning a particularly large and delectable batch of thick-cut maple bacon on an autumn Sunday morning. Just sayin. You don't need to caramelize the onion if you don't want to, but the longer it cooks, the more flavor comes out to play.
The next step is to add the squashes or whatever you plan to put in there. If your veggies are raw, cube them up. If it is from a can or frozen, just dump it on in there. The raw squash cubes should cook with the onion for awhile, to make friends. The purees are going to be agreeable right from the start. Don't add liquid just yet.
After the veggies are hanging out for a while, say 15 minutes, add in the following spices:
1/2 - 1 t. kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 - 1 t. WHITE pepper, or to taste (don't use black - the soup will not look as nice with black specks in it)
1 t. yellow curry powder (fresh curry - not the stuff that has been gathering dust in the back of your spice rack since that last time you got ambitious in the kitchen...) or more to taste
1/2 t. ground cumin (don't go much heavier in this unless you really dig cumin. A little dab will do ya.)
1/4 - 1/2 t. fresh ground nutmeg (FRESH - buy nuts and grate them yourself in one of those cute little nutmeg graters with the little house on top for the current nut in use - only don't store the nut there - put it back in the jar. The grater is still cute, though.)
Stir in the spices, let them get all hot and bothered with the veggies for about five minutes or so. The squash should be almost fork tender at this point, depending on how small you cubed it.
Pour in enough chicken broth (sodium free, please!) JUST to cover the squash. You can always add more later, so don't go nuts. Bring to a slow boil, and keep it there until everything is very very soft.
Here's the fun part. I use a wand blender - you can use a standard blender if you don't have a wand. Shut off the heat, and puree the crap out of the soup. Be really careful - the stuff is like lava. Get every last lump and clump. It will turn a really beautiful and shiny orange as you do this. And the smell will make you want to slap your mama.
You can serve it just like this, after you test for seasoning and add more of whatever you wish. If it is too thick for your taste, add some more broth.
But, here are some variations I slap on it:
- add about a cup of half and half, or light cream
- grate some good Parmesan cheese and sprinkle
- grill and slice some garlicky chicken sausage, slice thin on the bias, and float a few slices on top of the soup
- a few sliced scallions or chopped chives
A warning - and my DH can attest to this - squash and pumpkin and sweet potatoes are REALLY good for you, no doubt, so you will be tempted to finish the pot. BUT - these same veggies are very high in fiber. Really high.
I won't go into vivid detail.