Or, winter begins. The famed Galeaux d'Eysines from this post made it to the soup pot after all. Said pot will undoubtedly be busy this season.
As soup is about my favorite making-while-drinking-wine meal, an inordinate amount of soup recipes pass through the WTM kitchen. And although lots of people can chop, season, simmer, and serve their way to 30 minute soup, in my case it tends to become more of an off-Broadway production in 3 acts. Which is why dinner frequently ends up being at 11 p.m.
I've got the little white bowl routine down (mise-en-place anyone?) but it still takes far longer than any of the cookbooks or websites will 'fess up to. Guess that's what I get for not having a staff. (Repeat after me: Martha has a staff. They fill the little white bowls. That is why it only takes her 30 minutes to make soup.)
The recipe originated from a few places, as usual (see Sara Moulton's recipe for a jumping off point, and also Robin Robertson's). Coconut milk adds the richness that might otherwise be supplied by heavy (dairy) cream, and I adore it.
Winter Squash Soup
1 or 2 large winter squash, to yield about 3½ cups cooked and drained puree
Vegetable oil for coating pan
1 large onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. curry powder
2 Tbs. Earth Balance or other non-hydrogenated margarine
3 cups light broth
14 oz. can of coconut milk
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
2 Tbs. sugar or maple syrup
1 tsp. salt, to taste
½ tsp. pepper, to taste
Cut squash in half (or in quarters, if large), and remove seeds. Arrange squash cut side down in an oiled roasting pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until very tender.
Allow to cool. Scoop the flesh into a colander to drain a bit. Reserve about 3½ cups of the cooked, drained puree, and refrigerate any remaining puree for another use (like pancakes!)
Meanwhile, as the squash is baking, heat the margarine in a saucepan over medium low heat, and cook the onion through curry powder for 10 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
Add the broth, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add 3½ cups drained squash pulp to the saucepan and blend well. Puree the mixture in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth, or use a hand blender directly in the saucepan, for a more rustic (i.e. chunkier) result.
Blend in coconut milk, cider vinegar or lemon juice, and sugar or maple syrup. Add salt and pepper to taste, and adjust other seasonings as desired.
Return the soup to the pan and simmer over moderate heat, adding more broth if necessary to achieve the desired consistency, and heat through.