Tuesday, October 13, 2009

curried squash and apple soup

It's soup weather. Actually, today in Asheville it wasn't really soup weather at all - but today was our only anticipated nice day this week. It's supposed to get cold and rainy tonight and we even have a chance of snow this weekend - insert here the collective sigh - so soup weather is here even if today was warm and sunny.

We are having soup for dinner every night this week, actually. Aside from its comfort-foodiness, I love soup because its usually easy and fast, the stove does nearly all of the work, and there are leftovers. If you want to hear more about how much I love leftovers, you can read about it here. Suffice it to say that, as a full-time working mom, leftovers are my friend.

This recipe is loosely based on one of the many great vegetarian soups found in Molly Katzen's Enchanted Broccoli Forest, one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. It's vegan and makes great leftovers. When I made it this week, I used two tablespoons of curry powder, which was quite hot. I think one tablespoon would be more to my liking - but that's the beauty of soup - it is very flexible. So, make it as mild or spicy as you like!

Curried Squash and Apple Soup

1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs fresh ginger, minced
1 - 2 Tbs curry powder (use 1 Tbs if you like it mild, and 2 Tbs if you like it hot)
1 medium or two small winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
4 - 5 tart apples, peeled, cored, and cubed
4 cups water
brown sugar

optional toppings:

plain yogurt
toasted, chopped pecans

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium until hot. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Season with salt and saute over medium heat until the onion is translucent and fragrant, 3 - 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and continue cooking for another minute or two, until fragrant. Add water and squash, bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 5 - 10 minutes. While the squash is simmering, peel, core, and chop the apples. As soon as they are ready, add them to the pot, stir, and partially cover. Let simmer another 10 minutes, or until squash and apples are tender. Puree with an immersion blender, or puree in batches in a regular blender. Taste to adjust the seasonings, adding a Tablespoon or two of brown sugar or a bit more salt if desired. Delicious and warming with optional toppings or plain.

Stay warm!

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