Lightly Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Squash is almost the perfect vegetable for soup: it’s flavorful and has a divinely smooth texture when cooked and puréed. Serve this soup to people who think they don’t like squash or curry, and you’ll change some minds. You can substitute any winter squash for the butternut; I just like butternut because it’s faster to peel and chop than its many cousins.

1 butternut squash or other winter squash
1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can coconut milk
3 cups water
salt and pepper
o p t i o n a l
sour cream
scallions
fresh cilantro

To prepare the squash, peel off the tough skin with a potato peeler. Cut the squash in half lengthwise with a sharp chef’s knife, then scoop out the seeds and gloop.
(You can save the seeds for a tasty snack later, if you like: just clean the gloop off, then toast them.) Next, slice off the stem and very bottom of the squash and discard. Take each half of the squash and place it face-down on a cutting board. Chop each into ½” slices, then turn each slice into cubes.Put a large pot or Dutch oven on the stove on medium heat. Melt the butter and let the pot get hot. Add the onion, pepper, and garlic, then sauté for two minutes. Add the cubed squash and spices and stir it all together. Put a lid on the pot and let it cook for another two minutes. Add the coconut milk and water and stir. Bring the soup to a boil, then turn down the heat to low and let it cook for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Once the squash is tender, taste the soup and add salt and pepper as needed. Soup usually needs a fair bit of salt, so be generous. If you have an immersion blender, you can purée the soup in the pot. If you have a normal blender, wait until the soup has cooled before transferring it to the blender. Purée until smooth, then taste again and add any more salt and pepper it might need.
You can enjoy the soup as-is or serve it with another drizzle of coconut milk or a dollop of sour cream, plus some chopped scallions or cilantro.

f o r f o u r $ 6 t o ta l
$1.50 / s e r v i n g
EAT WELL ON $4/DAY GOOD CHEAP
LEANNE BROWN