Fall is such a great time to make soups and stews with all the fabulous squashes an pumpkins in season. I’m not too fond of the very sweet squash soups but really love this one – especially since I put my own little spicy twist to it. This recipe is based on the Curried Squash and Mushroom Soup by Molly Katzen in her Moosewood cookbook.
I have changed the recipe around a little and usually add whatever I can grab from the fridge which will blend well with the flavors of squash. You could pretty much take out anything from this recipe – except for the squash. You could use any kind of squash or pumpkin for this soup. I usually use butternut, acorn etc. You could even combine a few different squashes to make the flavor more interesting. I also added some fresh cilantro to the soup this time around – just because I had so much lying around. I thought it added a nice dimension to the soup.
Im sending this recipe out to one of my dearest friends and foodie soul mates – Rula – who just loves this soup and all the flavors that the Fall brings with it…….
2 medium acorn or butternut squash
5 cups of water or broth
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
2 medium onions chopped fine
1 medium red or green bell pepper chopped fine (optional)
1/2 cup shredded carrots (optional)
5-6 cloves garlic crushed
1& 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp grated ginger
Salt & cayenne pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
2-3 tbsp half & half or heavy cream for the top (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 ° F.
- Split the squash lengthwise, remove seeds and place face down on a lightly oiled tray.
- bake until soft ( about 30-40 mins)
- Cool and scoop out the insides.
- Measure out 3 cups worth and place this in a blender or food processor with the 3 cups of water/ broth and puree till smooth (you may need to do this in batches).
- Transfer to a stockpot and stir in the orange juice.
- Heat the butter or oil in a skillet and add the garlic and onion.
- Stir fry for about 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped bell pepper, carrots & cilantro (optional)
- Cook for 5 more minutes until the mixture has softened.
- Add all the spices, cinnamon, salt & cayenne and mix well.
- Stir for about 2-3 minutes – you may add a little water to prevent sticking.
- Add the sautéed mixture to the squash, scraping the skillet well to salvage all the flavor.
- Heat the soup gently.
- Once it is hot, taste to add and correct flavors.
- Turn the fire off and using a hand blender, puree the soup to desired smoothness.
- Top it off with a little cream and serve hot with fresh bread or croutons.
For those who enjoy the extra dash of spice the way I do – try this……I simmered the soup for an additional 15 minutes with a few slices scotch bonnet – the results……….ooooh so good!!