Wednesday, November 15, 2017

On Your Marks...

What’s cooking? Curried Butternut Squash Soup

I’ve been running this form of marathon for four years now, and for the first couple of years these Thanksgiving posts started on the Monday of Thanksgiving week. Because that’s when the Kitchen Goddess starts to get serious about what’s going on the table come Thursday. That’s just how she operates.

Then a couple of years ago, a good friend mentioned – in the nicest tones possible – that he and many of his friends had actually decided on most of the menu well before those last four days, and would it not be possible to get my brilliant ideas a bit earlier?

Well, you have to walk before you can run... At least that’s how I explain that even though I swore last year to start earlier – and in fact did start on the Saturday before Turkey Day – it’s still not as early in the game as I always wish. But we are making progress.

I don’t have a particular theme in mind this year, though if pressed, you might say that it’s about raising the level of interest in veggies any way you can. So this week, I’ll be suggesting radical changes in the appearance or texture of your veggies, and even disguising them as appetizers or salads.

In the days of yore, when the Kitchen Goddess had her annual New Jersey soup party, one of the soups offered was always a purée, and this butternut squash soup – exotically flavored with mild curry, and sweetened up with apples – was invariably a favorite among the guests. Reasonably low fat, elegantly textured, it’ll slip down their throats before they know it’s a vegetable. For appetizer portions, I serve it with a squiggle of light sour cream or yogurt; with more substantial portions, I add grated Granny Smith apple. Beautiful and yummy! Let us give thanks.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Adapted from Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins in The Silver Palate Cookbook (1982).

Serves 6 as an entrée, 10-12 as a first course, 20-25 as an appetizer

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
This year, I bought Opal Gold with my Granny Smith.
2 cups finely chopped onion (2 medium-large onions – use your food processor)
5 teaspoons mild (sweet) curry powder
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ -¾-inch dice (or, if you are as lucky as I am, and can find it already peeled and diced at your grocery store, use 2 ¾ pounds of the ready-cut)
2 apples (8-9 ounces each – find the most flavorful that you like), peeled, cored, and cut into ½ -¾-inch dice
3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 cup apple juice or apple cider
1½ teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (or black pepper if you don’t have white)
light sour cream or plain yogurt
grated Granny Smith apple (unpeeled)

In a large soup pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter and add the onion and the curry powder. Cook the onion, covered but stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes. Adjust the heat to avoid browning the onions.

Add the squash, apples, and stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the soup merely simmers. Cook, partly covered, for 25-30 minutes, until the squash and apple are very tender.

Ready to be puréed.

Strain the solids from the soup and purée them in a blender or food processor until very smooth – 1-2 minutes. Add them back to the pot along with the broth, and stir in the apple juice. Add salt and pepper and adjust the seasoning to taste. Bring the soup back to a simmer and serve immediately.

Garnish with grated Granny Smith apple and light sour cream or plain yogurt.


  1. I love butternut squash soup but yet to try making it! Thank you for the recipe!

    1. You're very welcome, Anita! This one has been a favorite of mine for years, so I hope you like it.