One of the things I love about butternut squash, or any winter squash for that matter, is that they're practically indestructible. They last for months!
You can harvest one in November and still find it perfectly good to eat in February (as long as you store it in a cool, dry place).
For the last month I've had a hankering for curried squash soup. And for the last month, the squash I picked out for this purpose has been greeting me from the kitchen counter every morning.
Well, the stars finally fell into proper squash soup making alignment and the result was this lovely curried squash soup.
Taking Butternut Squash Soup from Good to Great
The trick is to brown the cubed squash bits first, in a little oil and butter. That really brings out the squash flavor.
The trick to that, of course, is effectively cutting a very hard squash. For this you need a large, sharp knife, and a sharp vegetable peeler (I recommend using one with a carbon blade). Some stores sell butternut squash already cut up too.
In addition to curry powder, the seasonings include fresh grated ginger and whole mustard seeds. Finish with a dollop of sour cream and fresh cilantro to bring the soup into balance.
My mother and father both declared the soup a triumph, and we've been feasting on the leftovers for days.
Can Other Squash Be Used?
Butternut is preferred because of its mild flavor and smooth texture when blended. Still, you can substitute with other winter squash. The flavor and texture will be a bit different, but feel free to try any of these:
- Delicata squash
- Acorn squash
- Sugar pumpkin (those small orange pumpkins that show up in the fall)
Tips for Cutting and Cubing Squash
It's easier to peel a butternut squash if you microwave it whole for 30 seconds first. That short amount of time helps soften the peel just enough to make it easier to work with. Stab the squash a few times with a fork before microwaving so it can vent steam (it can explode if not).
You can also buy butternut squash that is already cut and prepared.
Stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods also sell frozen butternut squash cubes that work perfectly fine in this recipe.
How to Store Leftover Squash Soup
Refrigerate leftover soup in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
You can also freeze the soup for up to 3 months. Just defrost in the fridge the day before you plan to eat it.
How ever you decide to store your soup, just be sure to fully cool it to room temperature before storing.
Reheat the soup over medium heat on the stove to a full rolling boil.
Craving More Squash Soup Recipes?
- Curried Squash and Pear Soup
- Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
- Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup
- Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash Soup
- Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Smoked Paprika
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
1 (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, diced into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch cubes, yielding about 6 cups of cubed squash (see how to cut and peel a butternut squash)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds (if you substitute ground mustard, only use 1/4 teaspoon)
Dash ground cumin
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 cups chicken stock (homemade or store-bought)
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 cup sour cream (can substitute plain yogurt)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (can substitute parsley)
Sauté the cubed squash:
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large, thick-bottomed stock pot on medium heat. Add a dab of butter to the olive oil.
Working in two batches, so as not to crowd the pan, add the cubed butternut squash to the pan. Toss to coat all sides with oil. Sprinkle a little salt over the squash. Then, spread out in an even layer and let cook, stirring only occasionally, so the edges and sides get lightly browned.
You may need to adjust the heat up to ensure browning, or down to prevent burning or drying out. Add more oil and butter for the additional batches. Remove from pot and set aside.
Sauté the onions, spices, and ginger:
In the same pot, heat another tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring now and then, until softened. Add the curry powder, mustard seeds, cumin, and fresh ginger, and cook for a minute or so longer. Use a flat bottomed wooden or metal spatula to scrape up any browned bits.
Add the squash, stock, and salt, then simmer:
Return the butternut squash to the pot. Add the chicken stock and a teaspoon of salt. Increase the heat to bring to a simmer. Then, lower the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 40 minutes until squash is completely tender.
Purée the soup:
Use an immersion blender to blend the soup smooth. (You can also use a regular blender, but be sure to work in batches). Add more salt to taste, if needed.
Serve with sour cream and cilantro:
Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped cilantro on top.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 11g||14%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||18%|
|Total Carbohydrate 25g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber 6g||20%|
|Total Sugars 7g|
|Vitamin C 25mg||124%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|