January 25, 2015

Roasted & Curried Butternut Squash Soup

A warm & spicy soup made with roasted butternut squash, carrots and a varied selection of spices.

First of all, our family had never been a fan of butternut squash. Infact, VJ and my daughter hates the sweet note that the squash adds to the recipes. Being a heat-lover, VJ could never appreciate the sweetness it adds to the savory dishes! So, I had to always turn blind-eyed while passing squash aisles in super market/stores.

After a long time, I decided to give squash another try with this soup recipe. In an attempt to spice-up this sweet fruit, I have generously used curry powder & chilli powder in the recipe. However, the soup is only mildly spiced even with so much of spices. If I 'd to make this soup again, I would definitely bump up chilli powder by half a teaspoon.

However, the soup is very rich & creamy albeit the heavy cream. A splash of cashew paste not only makes this recipe vegan, but also adds an interesting dimension to the flavor. Garnish the soup with roasted pepitas for some nice crunch. I also saved a spoonful of roasted squash / carrots and used it as garnish.

Basic Info
Complexity - Simple
Prep time - 20 mins
Cook time - 40 mins
Serves - 4-6

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded & cubed
3 medium carrots, peeled & cubed
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled

2 tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
3-4 cloves

3 cups low sodium vegetable broth

10 whole cashews soaked in a tbsp of water

1-2 tsp salt, per taste
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp pepper powder

Preheat oven to 400 deg F.

Grind soaked cashews into smooth paste and set it aside.

Toss butternut squash, carrots, garlic in 2 tbsp of oil, salt and all of the spices (the last five ingredients in the list). Roast for 20-25 mins or until just tender.

While the vegetables are roasting, heat 2 tsp of oil in a medium saucepan. When hot, add bay leaf & cloves and let it sizzle. Add onion and saute until translucent. Slowly add the vegetable broth and bring it to a boil.

To this, add roasted squash, carrots and garlic and boil for 3-5 mins. Let it cool and blend it until smooth. Depending on the size of your blender, you might have to do the blending in batches.

Return it to the sauce pan, add cashew paste and mix well. Taste and adjust salt/pepper. Simmer briefly for 3-5 mins and remove from heat. Serve hot with some bread on the side.

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