A reluctant fall has finally settled in and made itself at home in Bucks County. We have experienced our first killing frost, officially ending the growing season. One of the last survivors of the garden is the kale. Cold weather just seems to make it sweeter. I have a sinkful soaking right now, reviving it for tonight’s dinner. We also have a wheelbarrow full of butternut squash in the garage that was harvested before the frost.
Fortunately butternut squash stores well in a cool basement, so I will be able to use it through to next spring. I cube and roast it to add to our green salads, butternut squash lasagna is a new favorite, and of course, soup. Smooth and silky butternut squash soup is a cold weather favorite. I have shared several recipes for butternut squash on this blog but this is the original, the recipe I have been making for over thirty years.
When I first discovered my love for cooking one of the first cookbooks in my library was The Silver Palate cookbook. Silver Palate’s recipe for curried butternut squash soup was a constant on our Thanksgiving table for many years. This velvety rich soup has just the right combination of sweet, tart and spicy and was met with rave reviews from friends and family alike.
Begin the recipe by sautéing chopped onions and curry powder in sweet (unsalted) butter. If your curry powder has been sitting in the back of your spice cabinet for longer than you can remember, it’s time to invest in a new jar. There is no one formulation for curry powder and each variety can have different component spices in differing amounts. For this soup the best choice is sweet curry powder. It will give you a wide range of flavors without too much heat. One large onion yielded the two cups I needed. The covered pan will allow the onions to cook slowly, give them a stir every five minutes or so to keep them from sticking to the pan.
While the onion is cooking, peel and cube the butternut squash. The medium-large squash I used weighed in at 3.3 lbs and yielded about 6 cups of peeled, cubed squash. Add squash cubes, apple and chicken stock, bring to a boil and cook until squash and apples are tender. Purée the soup in a food processor or blender. Return the soup to the pot, add apple juice or cider and season with salt and pepper. Serve piping hot with a garnish of a tangy freshly grated green apple.
Over the years this recipe this soup has become less of a project for the home cook. Don’t feel like chopping a large unwieldy squash? You can buy peeled and chopped squash at most grocery stores. Does the thought of straining and pouring hot soup into a blender make you just a little nervous? An immersion blender eliminates this step. If you make this soup ahead of time, cool it and store in the fridge. When you reheat the soup you may thin to thin it out a bit with a little more stock.
The most amazing thing about this recipe is you have made a rich, creamy soup without a drop of cream or milk. Perfect for the holidays or great alongside a sandwich of leftover turkey.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
- 4 T unsalted butter
- 2 c finely chopped onions
- 4-5 t sweet curry powder
- 3 lb butternut squash
- 2 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 3 c chicken stock
- 1 c apple juice or cider.
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 shredded unpeeled tart apple (garnish)
- Melt the butter in a 5 quart Dutch oven. Add chopped onions and curry powder and cook, covered, over low heat until onions are tender, about 25 minutes.
- While the onions are cooking peel the squash, scrape out the seeds and chop the flesh into 1″ cubes.
- When the onions are tender, pour in the stock, add squash and apples, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until squash and apples are very tender, about 25 minutes.
- Pour the soup through a strainer, reserving the liquid, and transfer the solids to a bowl of a food processor. Add 1 cup of the cooking stock and process until smooth.
- Return the puréed soup to the pot and apple juice and the remaining cooking liquid, about 2 cups, until the soup is of the desired consistency.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, simmer briefly to heat through, and serve immediately, garnished with shredded apple.