Monday, November 18, 2013

Butternut Beef Curry Soup

I love winter squash! This time of year, there are always a good stash hanging around of acorns, butternuts and whatever else looks interesting.

Last night, I decided to make up some soup with a butternut we had on hand.

I hadn't really thought up what sort of Butternut soup to make - vague notions of something sweet-ish, with nutmeg and honey, maybe, although that doesn't sound very much like a main dish, does it?

I pulled down a jar of homemade broth from the freezer, and as it thawed, realized this was definitely beef broth, and not the roasted chicken broth I'd meant to grab (note to self: freezer labels are our friend!).  So, ok, rich beef broth isn't going to go with a light sweet soup - but maybe some curry flavorings would work.

Well - it does! In fact, it reminded me a lot of one of my unhealthy indulgences (which I mostly avoid these days) - Japanese curry, made with those paste bars that have all the usual suspects of unpronounceable processed food ingredients.  I'm going to try this again, but throw in a lot of chunky carrots and sweet potatoes and onions and cubed pieces of beef, and see if this is my new Japanese Curry replacement.

Meanwhile, though - here is the soup as we had it last night.  We had one fresh butternut squash, and a bag of frozen diced butternut, so you'll want the equivalent of 2 butternut squashes for this.

Butternut Beef Curry Soup
(serves 4)

2 butternut squashes
1 T. coconut oil
3 cups homemade beef broth
1 T sea salt
1 tsp. pepper (or to taste)
1 tsp. turmeric
2 T. curry powder
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
4 T. coconut cream

Garnish (optional)
dollop yogurt
sprinkle of dried cranberries

To cook the squash:  
Use coconut oil to coat a baking dish big enough to hold the whole squash, and put them in without cutting. Prick with a fork or knife all over.   Cook at 350F for about 1 hour, or until tender.  Remove from oven and let rest until cool enough to handle.

Cut the cooled squash in half, longwise, and scoop out the stringy part and seeds, discard.  Then scoop out the pulp to use.

Making the soup:
Heat the broth to boil, then lower heat and simmer.  Add the butternut pulp and seasonings, and cook about 10 minutes.  Use a stick blender, and puree the soup.  Stir in coconut cream until blended in.

Serve and top with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of cranberries, if desired.

We had this along with a hearty salad to start with, and it was quite filling.

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