Monday, October 7, 2013

Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This time of year, there is nothing I like more in the kitchen than roasting vegetables.  The smell of vegetables caramelizing, shriveling up in the hot oven, are so comforting.  One of my favorite soup recipes is one that uses roasted butternut squash- a vegetable that is readily available this time of year at farmers markets and grocery stores.  I bought one at our local farmers market (Alderney market).

1 large butternut squash
3 leeks
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 piece of fresh ginger
1 can of coconut milk
1 container of stock
1 cup of water
Seasonings to taste


Including roasting time, this soup can be ready in about an hour.  It all starts with roasting the squash in a 425 degree oven.  Cut into large pieces, scoop out seeds, drizzle with olive oil, and give it a good sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes or so, depending on size of the squash.  If it easily slides off of a knife when poked, it's done.

While it's roasting, I cut up 3 leeks (make sure to wash them well- dirt likes to accumulate between the layers of the leek) and a good sized chunk of fresh ginger, about a 4" piece.  You can put more or less depending how much you like the flavor.  I also use a microplane to grate 3-4 cloves of garlic; I used garlic we grew in our garden.  Everything gets pureed later so don't worry too much about perfect chopping.

I then sautee the above mixture for about 10 minutes with a bit of olive oil, to soften everything, in a large pot.  (I mistakenly put mine in a medium pot today then had to transfer everything to my larger pot.)  By then, the squash are finished. I let them cool for about 10 minutes then peel their skins off. It comes off easily. 

Then, chop them into chunks and add to the leek mixture. 

Then, add one container of stock (I used a beef stock because I like the depth of flavor but any will do- veggie, chicken, etc.) and one cup of water.  Stir everything well, bring to a boil, then turn it down to medium heat and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Then, turn off heat.  Add one can of coconut milk.  

Then, with an immersion blender or stand up blender, blend the soup until you get the consistency you like. The last step is to add seasoning- I like giving it a good pinch of chili flakes, sea salt and pepper. You can then simmer the soup until you're ready to eat it. It freezes well and is perfect as a soup for lunch (just add pumpkin seeds and a drop of Greek yogurt for protein), or it could be a great side dish to many things- fish, chicken, steak, etc.


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