Friday, October 15, 2010

Curried Squash Soup

It is the time of the year when the root vegetables arrive from the farm! In the house today I had 3 pounds of sweet potatoes, 4 squashes (2 butternut, 1 buttercup, and 1 delicata), and 2 bulbs of celeriac. I found an awesome recipe for soup which incorporated all 3 items. I was able to use up the celeriac, one of the butternuts, and 2 pounds of the sweet potatoes, plus an apple, some farm share garlic, and onion. Amazingly enough, I had all the ingredients on hand. Even the coconut milk! I did use chicken stock instead of vegetable, but otherwise I stayed true to the recipe. It made 6.5 pints so 6 pints are in the pressure canner (10 lbs pressure, 75 minutes).

It's creamy, sweet, curried, and just plain delicious. Here's the recipe:
  • 2 1/2 pounds kabocha, butternut, red kuri, or other deep orange winter squash
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes (orange or yellow-fleshed)
  • 1 1/4 pounds celeriac
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
  • 1 cup apples - peeled, cored and chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (400 ml) coconut milk (regular, not light)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place squash, sweet potatoes, and celeriac on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 55-75 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a skewer or sharp knife. (Baking time will vary depending on the size of the vegetables. Smaller sweet potatoes and squash will be tender earlier, whereas larger ones and also the celeriac will take longer time to soften. Remove those that are tender earlier while the others continue to cook) Once tender, let cool enough to handle. While vegetables are cooking/cooling, prepare other ingredients.
  3. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, apple, garlic, curry powder, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened.
  4. Once roasted vegetables are cool enough to handle, slice squash and discard seeds. Scoop the flesh away from the peel and add to your soup pot. Cut peel away from sweet potatoes and celeriac (celeriac peel is thicker, so trim away a little of the thick, coarse peel. If the celeriac still seems a touch firm, cut it in smaller chunks so it can simmer and more quickly soften in the soup pot.) Add fresh ginger (start with 1 tbsp), stock, and water, bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer covered for about 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are quite tender.
  5. After this time, use an immersion blender and puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the coconut milk and lemon juice and taste test. If you'd like additional ginger, stir in the remaining ½ tablespoon.
  6. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired, and serve.
  7. Note: You can change the proportions of squash, sweet potatoes, and celeriac as you choose. Simply keep a total weight of about 6-7 lbs, which will give you roughly 10 - 11 cups of roasted vegetable flesh (after removing skins and seeds). Note that some squash will have more flesh and less seeds (ex: butternut) than other squash that will have a larger seed cavity and less flesh (ex: red kuri squash), so measuring out the cups of roasted flesh is helpful to determine how much you are actually using.

3 comments:

  1. Hi there! I'm just curious: I've read that it's not safe to can (even pressure can) pureed squash. Have you canned squash before without a problem? Thanks!

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  2. Hi, Judy, yes I've canned pureed pumpkin before and used it without a problem. Now that you mentioned it, I did some reading, and I see that the USDA doesn't recommend it. Huh. I'm not sure the soup counts, though. Maybe we'll just eat it quickly....

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  3. I guess one thought is that when I can the puree it's been roasted in the oven at 400 degrees for over an hour first. I would think that would be enough to kill anything. Without doing cultures there would be no way to know for sure, though. The recipes for canning cubes of squash only cook it for about 2 minutes before it's packed in the jars. Maybe that is the difference?

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