- 3 tablespoons butter or oil
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 pounds winter squash such as butternut, acorn, kabocha, or Delicata
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup sour cream (regular or low-fat) or plain yogurt, lightly whipped
- Chopped chives or parsley, for garnish
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 50 min
Total time: 1 hr
Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onions, cover, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and seed the squash (see the Technique Note) and cut it into 3/4-inch chunks. Add to the pot with the stock and a few good pinches of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the squash is quite tender, about 40 minutes.
Purée the contents of the pot in a food processor or blender (do it in several batches to avoid spills), or put it through a food mill. (The soup can be made to this point ahead of time.)
Return the soup to the pot, season to taste, and simmer until reheated. Serve each portion topped with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and garnished with chopped chives or parsley.
Makes 8 servings
Good to know
This isn’t an Indian dish, just an example of how Indian spices have worked their way into the world’s cooking. Something about the yellow-orange color of squash suggests the color of curry spices, and I have always liked the flavor combination too.
Which beer should I drink with this?
Sweet stout or "winter warmer" ale.
1. Technique note: Peeling hard-shelled squash can be a bit of a nuisance, especially those with odd shapes like acorn or Delicata. If you have a food mill, you can skip the peeling step, as the mill strains out the skins as it purées the flesh. Otherwise, you might want to stick with butternut squash, the easiest variety to peel.
2. This is one place where a standard packaged curry powder works fine; just make sure it’s reasonably fresh. Add some hearty bread, a salad, and a rich-tasting ale and you have a good cold-weather supper.
For a fancier soup, you can add your choice of 1 pound raw shrimp or 3/4 pound cooked shrimp, crab, or lobster meat. If using uncooked shrimp, peel and devein and cut into large dice, and cook it in the butter with just a pinch of the curry powder, then remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside in the refrigerator. Add the shellfish to the soup just before the final reheating.
The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook
From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.