Monday, September 5, 2011

Curried Apple Butternut Squash Soup

Category: Soups
Difficulty Rating: Medium
Very Healthy

This heart-warming recipe started a revolution in the culinary world in the 1970s. Butternut squash soup is everywhere now, even in boxes at Trader Joe's! But 40 years ago, in the midst of a time when most people were eating canned soup, no one had even heard of it. Then, Julie Rosso and Sheila Lutkins started a fabulous gourmet food shoppe in Manhattan, New York, called "The Silver Palate". This recipe is famous... Both Ina Garten and Wolfgang Puck have facsimiles at their food stops. Wolfie even purees roasted red bell pepper and swirls it on top . Very pretty, very good! Serves 4-6. From 'The Silver Palate Cookbook".


4 T sweet butter
2 C finely chopped yellow onions
4-5 t curry powder
2 medium-sized butternut squash (about 3 lbs altogether)
2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
3 C chicken stock (it's ok to use canned--but homemade is mui better)
1 C apple juice
salt and black pepper to taste

2-3 red bell peppers, washed, seeded, halved and roasted in the oven till soft and a few chopped green onions or chives OR
1 Shredded unpeeled Granny Smith apple


Melt butter in a soup pot. Add chopped onions and curry powder and cook, covered, over low heat until onions are tender, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, peel the squash ( vegetable peeler works best), scrape out the seeds and chop the flesh. When onions are tender, pour in stock and add squash and apples, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until squash and apples are very tender, about 25 minutes. Pour the soup through a strainer, reserving liquid, and transfer the solids to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, or use a food mill (does anyone have one any more?) fitted with a medium disc. Add 1 C of the cooking stock and process until smooth. Return pureed soup to the pot and add apple juice and additional cooking liquid, about 2 C, until soup is of the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper, simmer briefly to heat through, and serve immediately, garnished with shredded apple or a swirl of pureed red bell pepper or sour cream and a sprinkling of chives.

Note: At Wolgang Puck's cafe in South Lake Tahoe, I saw them using what looked like old-time mustard squeeze bottles to apply the swirls--quick and easy if you are serving a crowd. Either save and use a clean catsup or mustard bottle, or buy one! You can also just try putting a blob of puree in the middle and swirling it with a fork. Not as pretty, tho.

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