Friday, December 23, 2011

Soup for the holidaze

I tried out a new recipe last week, and it has quickly skyrocketed to the top of my list. It would be delicious with canned squash or pumpkin, but working with a whole squash was fun (if a bit time consuming). I modified the recipe so that it was more healthful and also vegan, but you could obviously use heavy cream in place of the silken tofu, although the soup might be a little thinner (and with less protein!). It was equally delicious reheated the next day, so it’s also a convenient weekday lunch…

Squash Curry Soup
adapted from the Fall/Winter 2011 Good Health, which Blue Care Network sends to me on a quarterly basis, ostensibly to lower my health care costs for them

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a little for roasting the squash
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup diced celery
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 cups water
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1-2 squashes (total weight 32-40 oz, or one 32 oz can)
1 package silken tofu

(Skip this part if you’re using canned squash/pumpkin.) Preheat the oven to 400F. Wash and peel the squash. Cut it into slices, and set the seeds aside if you want to bake them later. Arrange the slices of squash on a baking sheet with a small amount of olive oil, and bake at 400F until they are easily poked/smashed with a fork. Let the squash cool a little, and then transfer to a food processor. Process until you’ve got squash puree. Set aside while you work on the rest of the soup.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and celery and cook until tender. Stir in the curry powder, coriander, and crushed red pepper and cook for another minute.
Add the water and broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 10-15 minutes to allow the broth to take on the delicious onion, garlic and celery flavors.

Stir in the squash puree and the silken tofu, and cook until heated through. Use an immersion blender (or carefully transfer to a blender or food processor) to blend until creamy.

 Garnish with fresh thyme or other herbs and enjoy!

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