Well, it’s November 1st and I survived another Halloween, which is getting more difficult as my daughter gets older and becomes more of a force to reckon with when she’s hopped up on massive quantities of sugar. She turned 5 on Halloween (and yes, sometimes I think she truly is the spawn of the devil!) and I’m glad I wasn’t her teachers that day. She must have told me 20 times that morning that it was her birthday and that she was a big girl now. I can’t imagine how many times her teachers had to hear that line. More power to them, as a full day of that would have driven me crazy, and we all know that I’m on the edge as it is! But I’m not out of the woods just yet. We didn’t have time for her birthday party this past weekend so we are having it next weekend. That means 20 kids running around hopped up on cake, ice cream and soda. My only consolation is fact that I can then send them all home to unsuspecting parents who will then have to deal with the sugar crash. And yes, I know I’m evil! It’s part of my charm. Just ask my wife.
While we were out this weekend, we stopped by the farmer’s market here in town as it was the last one of the season. I wanted to make sure we stocked up on winter squashes as I love playing around with them, and they make great, hearty, Autumn time meals. I picked up a few Butternut squash perfect for soup making. Adding just a bit of curry powder to the mix gives the soup a nice complexity but doesn’t overpower the flavor of the squash.
There are many ways to garnish this soup; bacon is one garnish I use regularly, but today I wanted to change it up a bit. We had gotten a loaf of pumpernickel bread with our last CSA share of the season so I diced them up into 1/4 inch cubes and sauteed them slowly, in butter, over medium heat until crispy. I also peeled and diced an apple which I dusted with a mixture of 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. ground chipotle pepper, but plain diced apple works well also.
Curried Squash Soup
2 medium Butternut squash (about 4-5 pounds)
2 ribs celery
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup half and half
1 tsp. curry powder
1 Tbl. honey
Peel, seed and dice the squash. Chop the celery. Peel and chop the onion. Peel the garlic. Place all the vegetables in a large pot. Add the half and half and then add water to just barely cover the vegetables. Add the curry powder and honey and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Puree the soup either in batches, in a blender, or in the pot using a stick (immersion) blender. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste. This version doesn’t have much sweetness which is the way I like it when using the curry powder. If you want it sweeter just add more honey. Garnish with your choice of toppings or see above for suggestions.