I recently joined a farmers co-op…which my friend A has been telling me to do for years now !!! I have to say the veggies and fruits are great. You basically buy a basket and you eat what you get….oh they allow to exchange some stuff. But this is a great way to try new fruits and veggies while enjoying the one that you really like !!! A and D have been binging on the fresh pineapple while I have enjoyed exercising my creativity in creating new dishes for V and me to enjoy . Now that both V and I have lost a good amount of weight and pretty much set on our changed way of life , it seems okay to experiment with food and not worry about overeating !!!!!
I came home with this basket and proceeded to place everything on the counter and I have to tell I felt like I was opening gifts at my birthday ……I was humming and exclaiming !! The kids watched shaking their heads saying “ mom’s off again “ !!!! I love food as much as I love books and clothes which says a lot as anyone who knows me will attest !!! What you don’t see in the picture is the star of the post…butternut squash !!! You would think that I would make sure and take a picture of that particular fruit. Yes , squashes are fruit. I have to thank Wikipedia for that nugget of information. Here in the US its known as a winter squash…..probably as it’s at its best during the fall but mostly because the skin is allowed to harden and the fruit mature before being harvested .
My sis S has always raved about butternut squash soup…..but somehow I have always associated it with sweetness and while I enjoy a good dessert as much as the next person I am not fond of food that does not combine spice with sweetness !!! So I have always put off experimenting with it. Finally one day while searching for soup recipes…..its cold here and also I wanted to eat something that made my stomach full….I had’nt felt that particular feeling in a long time !! I found a recipe for CURRIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP . I had hit the jackpot…there is spice, sweetness, crunch, heat and also no cream is used to give it creaminess but rather coconut milk is used. What more can a girl ask for !!!!
I had a rather small butternut squash just a couple of pounds….I had a big but exchanged it for a small one and a pineapple !!! But that was enough for V and me for dinner and we had a cup or so left over. My friend M tried the soup and has asked for the recipe so I know its a good one !!! The recipe is for 4 persons.
CURRIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
1 medium Butternut Squash , 3-4 pounds
2-3 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Curry Powder
1 tbsp Ginger, chopped
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
½ tsp Red Chilli powder
4 Garlic cloves, chopped
1 ½ cups Vegetable Stock
1 ½ cups Coconut Milk
Juice of 1 Lime
1-2 tsp Salt, depending on taste
1 ½ tsp Black Pepper
3 tbsp Cilantro, chopped finely
Pre heat the oven to 400 F.
Cut off the ends of the butternut squash. Then cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and the strings.
Place them flesh side down on a foil lined baking sheet and roast for 30 – 40 minutes or till tender. Cool slightly.
In a pan, heat the oil. Add the curry powder, ginger, cumin seeds, red chilli powder and garlic cloves. Saute.
Place in a food processor.
Scoop out the cool squash and add to the spices.
Add the vegetable stock and process till smooth.
Remove and pour into a saucepan. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, salt and pepper.
Just before serving, reheat gently over a low heat.
Serve garnished with cilantro.
To be very honest…even though I ploughed ahead and made the soup, I approached it with great apprehension !!!! I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really liked it !!! The inherent sweetness of the squash was perfectly balanced by all the spices in the curry powder. The heat from the cayenne provided just a little bite which along with the bite from the lime juice made for a complex mouthful. I love the idea of using coconut milk instead of cream to provide body and creaminess and since I used light coconut milk , I can eat a lot more than usual without nay guilt !!!! You will be surprised but the teaspoon of cumin seeds provides just enough texture and crunch to make it interesting !!!
By the way, I have had a couple of people comment on the fact I spell and say a few words not commonly used in this country thats probably b’coz I still use British English even after all these years here and my spell check is set for UK English. Its very complicated in my house as V and I use UK English while N , my son, Uses USA English and it became so hard that V and I , now use our laptop to edit documents while our son uses the desktop !!!!
Back to the topic at hand…….as you can see I am happy I experimented with something different …..at least for me. I can just hear S , my sis, telling me “ I told you so “ In my family, while I am the blogger and the person who tries different foods and all that , I still do so within the realm of my comfort. S on the other hand does venture into other realms…every time we met she and N ,her hubby, make it a point to take me somewhere different and I enjoy myself every single time . So S, thanks for pushing me even further !!!