As this is a squash soup, it's important that you do two things--one, be sure to buy a butternut squash! They have a creamy texture that is perfect for a pureed soup. Do not make a mistake and pick up, say, a spaghetti squash.
Two, be sure to look over all the squash at the store. Buy a butternut squash that is heavy for its size. A light squash is full of seeds that you'll just be throwing away.
I'll tell you one other thing. Peeling a squash can be incredibly tedious and frustrating. They're heavy, the flesh gets slippery once the peel is removed, and they're funny-shaped. Here is where a nice, sharp vegetable peeler will come in handy.
I went through a period where it seemed gnomes were coming into the kitchen and stealing my kitchen tools--I lost a new knife before even using it once, followed by a cutting board, and then two vegetable peelers. I still haven't found the knife or the cutting boards, but the kitchen gnomes must not have liked my peelers. The peelers eventually made their way out of the woodwork. Today I am the proud owner of five different vegetable peelers. Just call me Edward Peelerhands.
The vegetable peeler I used today (and the one I like to use on tougher vegetables, like squash or sweet potatoes, is the Oxo Good Grips peeler. It makes easy work of peeling the hard to peel.
Okay, in an idea world, I would have put the vegetables in and THEN poured in the broth. But I wasn't quite done chopping (taking pictures while cooking can mess up your timing, haha) so I reversed the steps. And was extra careful not to burn myself with the hot broth.
Now sit back and read a book while the stove does the work for you.
Be sure to remove the bay leaf first!
This is an immersion blender. It's my favorite tool to use for pureeing soup. It's fairly easy to clean and its long, thin shape makes it easy to store in my pantry. And it's so much safer (and less messy) than using a regular blender.
One of these days I'm going to buy myself a fancier blender. My mom has one with a detachable stick, so you can clean the blender blade in the dishwasher. Mine isn't detachable so I have to be careful when I clean it--no water in the electric base! But it gets the job done.
And if you think you need to spend the big $$, think again. I'm pretty sure this was a $15 purchase at TJ Maxx.
Also, with a thick soup like this, take the pot off the heat while you blend. Otherwise the heat sends up large bubbles that pop--again, sending hot soup onto your face. Ever seen a video of hot lava bubbling? Yeah. It's kind of like that.
The immersion blender is an amazing tool. It turns this ...
A healthier option would have been yogurt or silken tofu. Or to add nothing. But, if you've been around the blog long enough, you'll notice that I like to add half and half to things. Maybe it's an addiction.
I also tried not to breathe in too heavily while taking this picture. I can't imagine curry powder in the nose feels very good.
I like to top my soup with a spoonful of sour cream, some crispy bacon, and a sprinkling of chives. But don't limit yourself to my choices. Some other topping suggestions include Parmesan or cheddar cheese, diced apples, croutons, ham or proscuitto, various herbs (fried sage leaves or fried garlic chips would be amazing), sunflower or pumpkin seeds, and creme fraiche or heavy cream (maybe a curry-spiced whipped cream!). Take this recipe and decorate it any way you see fit.
Recipe: Curried Butternut Squash Soup
2 tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 2-3 lb. butternut squash, peeled and roughly chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
47 oz. (one box plus one can) chicken stock (or enough to cover all the vegetables)
salt and pepper
1 tbsp. curry powder
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 c. half and half
Garnishes of your choice
Saute onions in butter until softened. Add chopped vegetables, bay leaf, and chicken stock. Salt and pepper to taste.
Let everything simmer gently together until vegetables are softened. Blend everything together until completely pureed.
Add curry powder, cayenne pepper, and half and half. Stir to combine.
Garnish and serve.