Thursday, December 18, 2008

CEIMB: Curried Butternut Squash Soup

I wasn't going to make this soup, because it is December 18 and I have not (1) finished my Christmas shopping, or (2) planned my Christmas menus, both of which I blame on blogging and Facebook. Last year at this time, I had a screaming, non-sleeping newborn in the house but STILL was not in any danger of missing Amazon's regular shipping deadline. But now, instead of shopping when I am online, I do things like watch the "Do They Know It's Christmas" video that a friend posted on her Facebook page, and then exchange comments about how there is a lot of hair in that video, how Sting was really much much hotter than Simon LeBon, which we didn't realize as silly 12 year olds, and how we never did see the George Michael thing coming.

So I had sworn off Facebook until after the New Year, as well as most of my blogging projects except for TWD. Because when it starts to affect my ability to shop, clearly it's gone too far. But then I realized that this week's CEIMB pick was selected by one of my favorite blogging friends, Mary Ann from Meet me in the Kitchen, and I knew that I wanted to make it. And I sure am glad that I did!

Mary Ann really does love her fellow bloggers, because she picked a recipe that was super quick and easy to make. Thank you, Mare! It was also seriously delicious. I have a butternut squash "thing" -- the butternut squash risotto that we made with Barefoot Bloggers was one of the best things I've ever eaten, and Proud Italian Cook's butternut squash lasagna almost made me weep, it was so amazing. My sister and her husband made a phenomenal butternut squash soup on Thanksgiving, which moved me so much that I asked for an immersion blender for Christmas (other wives ask for jewelry, so I really am a bargain!) So if butternut squash is the featured ingredient, I am bound to enjoy it.

The hardest part of this recipe is prepping the butternut squash (which really just isn't that hard when you get right down to it, although it's fun to complain about). Cook up your garlic and onion, add the squash, broth and curry and boil up for about 15 minutes, take it off the heat and add some honey, and then puree it in the pan with your immersion blender (if you have one) or in a regular blender.

My friend Amanda made this a few days ago, and came into my office one morning and said "see this burn? I felt like you in the kitchen!" Apparently the top came flying off her blender when she went to puree it and she was scalded by the liquid. Ouch! Yeah, that would happen to me. And I was particularly worried about a "liquid hot magma explosion" variety of kitchen disaster, because I nearly always have little people attached to my legs when I cook (although I did manage to shoo them away with some kiddie TV crack before turning on the blender). But thanks to Amanda's warning to hold the lid down tight, I didn't have any trouble -- my soup stayed in the blender, and I emerged burn-free.

I am usually kind of iffy on curry. I thought about leaving it out, but decided to cut the recipe in half and make it as is. As it turns out, I loved the flavor of this soup (I didn't even offer any to David because he hates curry). The only problem that I had is that I think I should have pureed it a little longer. The texture wasn't as smooth as I would have liked, which was probably due to the fact that I was scared to death of the soup flying out of the blender so I cut it off as soon as it looked smooth to the naked eye. But the soup was flavorful and rich-tasting -- I would definitely make this again. Especially if I have a shiny new immersion blender that needs a little test drive around December 26!

Thanks for this great pick, Mare!

Curried Butternut Squash Soup, from Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave


1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (2 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more, to taste
2 tablespoons honey
4 teaspoons plain low-fat yogurt, for garnish


Heat oil over medium heat in a 6-quart stockpot. Add onions and garlic and saute until soft but not brown, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the butternut squash, broth, curry powder and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat stir in honey and puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender until smooth. Season with salt, to taste.

Ladle into serving bowls and add a dollop of yogurt.


Anonymous said...

Love your posts! I too want an immersion blender for Christmas. And thanks to you I can add that it is a deal compared to most woman wanting jewelry!

Jamie said...

That soup looks delicious! I asked for all cooking related things for Christmas, my family thinks I have a screw loose.

Melissa said...

That looks easy AND delicious - two of my favorite things. I've had a big craving for soup lately too, and this totally just made it worse.

Audrey said...

A bowl of this is exactly what I want for Christmas! But now that you mention, an immersion blender would be so nice! Hmmm.

Gabi said...

Pretty soup! Glad you didn't have a magma emergency :)
I must admit the immersion blender is worth the price.

What's for Supper? said...

I had to laugh about the top flying off the top of the blender. The exact same thing happened to me. It wasn't so funny at the time. I need myself an immersion blender too!

Mary Ann said...

I am so glad that you got a chance to make it and that you loved it. When I picked it, I didn't even really think about the fact that it was close to Christmas and this was a quick recipe, but I am glad it was. And I actually got some shopping done today! Yeah, there will at least be something under the tree.
I am glad you didn't burn yourself either.
Thanks for trying it, Cathy!

The Blonde Duck said...

Hit the mall, woman! Not done yet? I'd be freaking!

Heather said...

i absolutely adore butternut squash soup. this one looks lovely. i'll keep my fingers crossed for you that you finish shopping. i do mine by the end of thanksgiving weekend :) i hate malls during december!!!

Lisa magicsprinkles said...

I feel your pain. I'm so behind on shopping and shipping and tracking. I need an elf. You know it's bad when the UPS man comes by your house twice a day AND you have no clue what the hell is in all those packages. I've had to send out an all call to relatives with tracking numbers asking if they sent these things or is some small 3rd world country getting all their medical and food aid shipments sent here accidentally. I'm waiting for the helicopter drop any day now.

I'm the only squash eater here - I wasted a whole butternut last week on the cretins that are my beloved family. Your soup looks delightful.

Pam said...

I really like Ellie's recipes. Simple and healthy. This soup looks beautiful! Good luck with the shopping.

Kitchen Flavours said...

Wow awesome and comforting soup. Healthy too. Perfect for the weather.

Debinhawaii said...

I hope you put lots of stars by the Immersion Blender on your list so you get it. I love mine--its my favorite kitchen gadget and I couldn't get along without it!

I have seen this soup in her cookbook and wondered about it. Glad to know it is so good!

Peggy said...

I could not find time to make this week. Yours is beautiful and I am ashamed that I have no kids at home and still could not find the time to make this. SLAP me. Please. I am in awe of you with your three tiny elves, your job, and you still find time to cook! Can you give me some lessons on time management? :) I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

MacDuff said...

I want an immersion blender, too!! The liquid line on my food processor is literally only a half inch from the bottom. And I can't tell you how many times Jon has painted the kitchen with tomato puree.

Sting really was so much hotter than Simon LeBon. And George Michael had all those videos with models! I thought for sure he and Linda Evangelista were a thing!!!

Aggie said...

I could have written the first part of your post! Facebook and blogging are killing me!

Soup looks great, glad you made it!

Maris said...

I love butternut squash soup and I love Ellie Krieger's show. Sounds delish!

Steph said...

I'm not too into curry, but I love butternut squash! Hmm. the immersion blender sounds nice, I think I need one too.. haha

Pamela said...

Glad everyone walked away from the soup injury free. :o) I've never used curry in my cooking before, but I am a sucker for anything with Butternut squash. I might be trying this one soon. Looks great, Cathy. And I hope Santa brings you that blender!!

Proud Italian Cook said...

From one butternut squash lover to another. Thats some gorgeous looking soup! I would love to try it with a touch of curry, sounds exotic. I will try that next time. Cathy your photo looks great, I need a spoon so I can dig in! Thanks for the link love sweetie, and have a wonderful holiday with your adorable family!
xoxo, Marie

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Blogging and Facebook do get in the way of life sometimes, but this soup seems worth it. Curry and squash -- yum!

Natashya said...

You will love your immersion blender! Good choice for xmas. I asked for a Breville Multi Level Steamer. So much more sexy than jewelry.
The soup won't be smoother though, it might be more coarse.
The soup looks great! We love butternut squash too.
For blending hot liquids - Don't fill the blender very full, put a kitchen towel over the lid and your hand over that. Hot liquids expand.

Jessica said...

Wow, I thought that I was the only person who watched the Band-Aid video this Christmas season. I laughed my head off watching it. My mom gave me a fancy immersion blender a couple of Christmases ago and it's fantastic!
The soup looks great, I love butternut squash soup. I would have chickened out of the curry powder so, here's to you for trying it out!

Cathy said...

Thanks everyone! Shopping done now, much happier camper here. I really appreciate all of the great feedback on immersion blenders (and thanks for your specific recommendation, Natashya!) -- I think that Santa sometimes reads my comments!

Jessica -- I suspect that you are several years younger than me, so the BandAid video is probably even more hilarious to you than it is to me (and I think it's pretty damn hilarious). But I can't think of a better stop when I need a quickie 80s fix. Can anyone identify the greasy-haired guy that comes in with "there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime" shortly after Bono belts out "well tonight thank God it's them, instead of you!!" I'm stumped!

Prudy said...

Oh, those darn time wasters. They're my favorite hobbies too. I'm trying my best to focus on what's in front of me in REAL life, doggone it, at least until January! The soup looks deelish!

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